I've been saying this for months and I am happy to report that some associations are doing it. The story below details how an association can deal with pets can be turned from a burden to an opportunity.
How to handle poop - particularly pet poop - is becoming a growing problem for community associations.
Owners are always required to pick up after their dog, and many associations actually provide free "poop bags" to assist in this clean up. But not everyone complies with the rules. There are reports of owners who pretend to use the waste bags, especially when others are watching.
A New Jersey association has adopted a novel approach: As of Nov. 1, all dog owners in the Grande at Riverdale condominium must have their pet's DNA registered, or face a $100 fine. The dog's mouth will be swabbed for DNA, and waste located on common grounds will be tested to determine the owner. Fines for not picking up the waste will be $250 for the first offense and can go as high as $1,000 for subsequent violations.
If an association's legal documents permit pets, the board of directors has the authority to enact reasonable enforcement rules. Typically, those rules would require that all dogs be leashed while on common grounds, be registered with the association management, and be vaccinated annually, pursuant to applicable local law.
DNA testing for dogs is not new. The American Kennel Club (AKC) said that it collected more than 600,000 DNA profiles in its data base through Dec. 1, 2012. The top breeds are labrador retriever, Yorkshire terrier, dachshund and poodles. Why collect DNA? "DNA offers the AKC the possibility of ensuring the accuracy of the registry in a way never before possible," accordingto its Web site. However, it cautions that "DNA profiling is for parentage verification and genetic identity purposes only. It does not provide information regarding genetic health, conformation, performance ability, coat color, etc."