Most condo corporations have rules that state that pets are not
permitted to soil on the Corporation's property and owners must
clean up after their pets. Despite rules like this, dog poop is
often found on condo properties, particularly in the winter months
when the short daylight hours enable offending pet owners to breach
these rules "under cover of darkness."
The Toronto Star1 recently reported about a service
being offered to US condo associations to identify delinquent
owners. PooPrints2 is a dog identification service that
maintains a private dog DNA data base for each property, so that
any dog poop found on the property can be matched with the culprit.
Dog owners are required to register their pets with management, pay
the registration fee and provide their dog's DNA sample by way
of a cheek swab. When management finds poop on the property a
sample is sent to the lab in Tennessee to indentify the offending
dog from the condo's dog database. The cost of the lab analysis
is charged to the owner of the unit in which the dog resides.
PooPrints also provides a unique pet identification tag for each
dog to wear on its collar so that it is easy for management to
confirm if a dog has been registered.
In the US condo associations are imposing hefty fines on owners
whose pets soil the condo property, with the hope that the fines
will be a deterrent to future breaches. While condo corporations in
Ontario are unable to fine owners for a breach of the rules, this
type of service can assist condo corporations in enforcing their
rules, as it will enable them to identify those owners who are not
complying. However, before going ahead with this type of service,
condo corporations will need to amend their rules to require that
owners register their dogs and provide the cheek swab and to
specify that unit owners are responsible for paying the
registration fee and the costs related to the DNA analysis of the
poop sample. Such rules could also specify that after a certain
number of violations, as supported by the DNA evidence, the dog
will be deemed to be a nuisance animal and must be removed from the
property. We expect that once these rules are circulated to the
unit owners this will stir up considerable controversy,
particularly among dog owners!
(Originally published on June 30, 2011 on the Condo Reporter
Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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