One newly-constructed town-owned apartment complex in Winter Park has become a cause for concern resulting from dog owners violating rules such as picking up pet waste and registering pets with building management, according to an article on the local newspaper Sky-Hi News.

Housing manager John Crone recently sent an email to renters explaining the issues, mentioning that while nothing has been finalized, the town was considering DNA testing dog droppings that were left behind as a possible means of encouraging people to follow rules. It was also noted that other deterrent methods will be attempted prior to DNA testing, including handing out free bags and education programs.

If I had to guess, the proposal of DNA testing likely comes as a shock to most residents, as this would require them to provide a DNA sample of their dog upon signing a lease. It also seems like testing DNA of feces left behind by pups would be a time-consuming and expensive process. In an ideal world, all dog owners would be respectful for those that come behind, but as long as this isn’t the case, perhaps the use of a security camera to monitor the space and identify rule violators would be more efficient.

Dog poop problems are not something new in Colorado, as many complain about feces left behind on trails. In my experience, most dog owners are very responsible, always cleaning up after their pups. If you’re new to Colorado, this is the standard. Always leave no trace, even when it comes to dog droppings, as pet scat can add excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus to the soil, which can lead to unstable conditions and unnatural growth. For a more in-depth explanation about why wildlife can poop in the wilderness and why your pet shouldn’t, here’s a great article by Leave No Trace.

*Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, not OutThere Colorado.

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