Jerusalem to Introduce Doggie Poop-ternity Test

by Brian on June 15, 2012

in In the News

Poop you scoop

Israelis are notorious about not picking up dog poop. If the subject of this post offends you, I apologize in advance, but stepping in dog droppings offends me even more. And, as the new owners of a dog ourselves, keeping the city streets safe for strollers is even more of a mandate.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen an unleashed dog do its business on the grass in front of me. One time, a dog pooped on the sidewalk while its owner was standing beside it. I fully expected the owner to pull out a plastic bag but, no, the two just walked away while I was too flabbergasted to say a word. I now carry extra bags with me in order to “offer” one to these feces cretins.

Now, finally, there’s hope. The city of Jerusalem has announced that it will be adopting a technique first brought to Israel in the city of Petach Tikva (it’s already in place in some U.S. cities) where dog owners are required to submit a saliva sample from their pets that will then be analyzed for its DNA and entered into a database.

Municipal inspectors will now no longer have to catch a dog in the act; rather they can take a sample of offending excrement on the street, match it with the database and simply mail a fine of NIS 750 to the owner. Call it a doggie poop-ternity test.

There are about 11,000 registered dogs in Jerusalem, and another 10 to 15 percent unregistered canines, city veterinarian Dr. Zohar Dvorkin was quoted as saying in this week’s Haaretz. 95 percent of the capital’s registered dogs are vaccinated and the new law will require veterinarians to take a saliva sample during a dog’s annual visit.

“The moment we reach 70 percent to 80 percent of registered dogs [in the database], we can start collecting samples of feces,” said Dvorkin, adding that inspectors will also photograph the offending pile.

It will take a while before all the dogs are swabbed but, in the meantime, dog owners in Petach Tikva are already picking up more than before – even though the system has not yet been implemented. Fear is a great motivator.

The cost of testing the DNA is NIS 150 per sample, but Dvorkin said that the city is “not in this to make money; it might even cost us money. The main thing is we won’t be stepping in dog poo when we leave the house.”

A side note: for dog owners who are already law abiding citizens when it comes to poop disposal, there was an article on Israel21c last year about an Israeli invention called the AshPoopie – a pooper scooper that turns what it collects into odorless, sterile ash within seconds.

I pooped this one out earlier in the week on Israelity.

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