PooPrints is a dog DNA identification program from BioPet Vet Lab built on a scientific foundation, providing communities with a means to enforce community regulations for pet waste clean-up. “The problem of pet owners not picking up after their pets is tearing apart communities,” says BioPet Vet Lab CEO Tom Boyd. Consumer Reports lists ‘dog poop’ as one of the nation’s top ten personal gripes. So BioPet Vet Lab used its research in animal DNA identification systems to help provide community leaders with a tool to bring peace back to the neighborhood.
Debbie Logan, a property manager at Twin Ponds Development in Nashua, N.H., which has been using PooPrints, says, “Even though we provide pet stations and dog playgrounds, we quickly learned that a small percentage of our residents were not cleaning up after their pets. As an extremely popular community with pet lovers, a small percentage of violators could quickly ruin it for the responsible residents.”
To participate in the program, communities make it mandatory for pet owners to register their pets in the PooPrints DNA database. Offending waste left unpicked up is collected and analyzed. When a DNA match is discovered, the community has the evidence needed to warn or fine the pet owner. Within the first four samples tested, two violators were quickly identified at Twin Ponds. According to Logan, “The program is just fantastic for us. It was easy to implement and everybody wins. We are spending less time looking for violators, and residents have a clean, healthy community.”
Jim Simpson, president of BioPet Lab, tells MHN, “Once someone chooses to enroll the property in the program, we provide kits for $30 per dog to the property. They collect a cheek swab of any dog associated with the property and mail it to us. Once the dogs’ DNA are on file, if there is a violator, they mail a small sample of the feces and then we look for a match based on the DNA base we have.” For testing of each sample, it costs the property manager another $50.
Currently, three properties are using this program. “We haven’t pushed this product as much as we had hoped, but in 2011, we plan to attend conferences and shows and expand tremendously,” says Simpson.
Rape Kit Testing Backlog Thwarts Justice for Victims
Lawmakers Seek Rules and Funds for Faster DNA Testing After Sexual Assaults
When Valerie Neumann woke up dazed and physically bruised the morning after her 21st birthday, the awful reality began to sink in that she had been raped. Neumann then made the difficult decision many sexual assault victims make -- to submit to the ordeal of a rape kit at her local hospital.
"Although I just wanted to pretend nothing happened, I knew what I needed to do," Neumann told the House panel. "It was very hard to go through. My only consolation was that this exam could be used to put my rapist behind bars."
But three years, five months and four days later, Neumann's kit remains untouched and her rapist uncharged after prosecutors told her they didn't have the funds or enough of a legal case to justify having her rape kit tested.
"I used to believe in our justice system," Neumann said. "But after my experience … I can honestly say that if I were raped again, I don't know that I would choose to go to the hospital and be put through a rape kit again."
Today, advocates for sexual assault victims called Neumann's testimony alarming and indicative of fallout from the broader national rape kit testing backlog. They pressed federal lawmakers to enact legislation to help fix the problem.
Neumann's untested rape kit is one of an estimated 180,000 kits completed each year whose potential evidence, which could validate a woman's claims, identify an attacker or exonerate a suspect, loiters on shelves and in warehouses.
"I get a lot of fan mail that says I wish the detective who handled my case was like you," said actress Mariska Hargitay, whose character on "Law & Order" takes on horrific sex crimes.
Hargitay, who has become an advocate for victims of domestic violence and also testified today, said she's received thousands of letters from rape victims about how isolated they feel after completed rape kits and police reports appear to fall on deaf ears.
"Yes, sexual assault is difficult to talk about. … But lives are ruined because of it. If New York City can do what it's done -- get rid of a backlog -- then we can do it elsewhere," said Hargitay.
ABC, full article