COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: City should get a sample of...
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Jan 29, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: City should get a sample of dogs’ DNA – just in case

Hamilton Mountain News

By Penny Gumbert, special to the News

A condo association is using science to clear their sidewalks of animal excrement.

For a fee, PooPrints, an enterprising company for sure, registers DNA from pets in the conclave in order to identify owners who refuse to collect their dogs’ refuse. The association fines the culprits’ owners and — get this — if fed up enough, evicts repeat offenders. Kudos to them and to PooPrints by cashing in on ka-ka.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are dogs.

There’s Chico, who reminds me of a lost love and who is sporting a slimmed-down physique and a cozy wardrobe this winter. There’s Billy, a little old ball of fluff who thoughtfully keeps pace with the little man who loves him (I wonder if they’re all right? I haven’t seen them lately).

There are housebound dogs like Lola who politely watch me from windows while bigger dogs bark boisterously from behind barricades.

Halfway through my walk, I cross the street where two black beauties clamber to the top of their children’s tree house (or have the dogs taken it over?) to proclaim ownership with basso profundo greetings.

There’s a variety of dachshunds, a lovely blonde labrador and an athletic-legged wonder who can pull his owner to the ground in his haste. Then there are my own two.

I’m a responsible owner. My pets have up-to-date licences and vaccinations, their own toothbrushes and lots of regular walkabouts. In fact, a neighbour has warned me I just might wear out the sidewalks if I keep on this way.

Most importantly, you’ll be glad to know I always pick up the poop and take it home. So I hate having to keep an eagle eye out for other pets’ droppings. Messy to step in, but also my female pup engages in coprophagy — the eating of feces (I found that out online. Not uncommon, apparently). But as I can’t stomach this, I don’t want her to either.

Hamilton’s By-law 01-069 says: “No person shall permit the dog to defecate in a public place ... If it does so, the person shall immediately and without delay remove the waste and provide for its disposal.”

People, please — that doesn’t mean picking up the waste, tying the bag and dropping it somewhere down the block!

If I’m not skirting turds as big as horse droppings, it’s little plastic bags scattered hither thither. It’s against the law, and common decency. Take it home!

When I purchased licences for my dogs, I was given pet waste bags and carriers, and positive encouragement to do what is right, but when I renew my dog licences perhaps I’ll suggest the DNA swabbing of each pet.

Penny Gumbert is a Mountain resident.

The Mountain News is all about the people who live on the Mountain. If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335 to discuss your idea.

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