My Pup Wasn’t Happy About Temple Apartment’s DNA Test for Poop Database
An apartment complex in Temple has mandated dog DNA testing for the purpose of unearthing who's dog did the do...doo.
Last month I received a letter from my apartment complex stating that they were revising their pet policy when it came to dogs. The letter explained that I needed to bring my Dachshund, Sonny, into the office for a dog DNA test. The DNA requested is for a new program the complex is initiating called PooPrints, and will create a poop database of all the dogs who live at the complex.
It's seriously the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of, and I was taken aback. I'm a responsible pet owner and always scoop up Sonny's poop, but I understand that not everyone at the complex does. Still though, I hate that myself and others got grouped in with the bad apples and were forced to go along with the test.
Yes, forced! The fine for not scheduling an appointment with the complex for DNA testing is $150 a month. Plus the letter stated that those who did not comply would be at risk of lease termination. I think its totally unfair, but there's really not much I could do.
I spoke with the management at my complex to ask questions, and I also spoke with a representative at PooPrints. My first and foremost concern was security and privacy. Reading through PooPrints' website, I discovered that:
"The data generated by the creation of the DNA profile of the dog will remain the property of BioPet Vet Lab."
I am not comfortable with my dog's DNA being some company's property. While at this point in time they say they don't sell user's information, it says that the policy could change. How can I be assured that my dog's DNA will not be sold or used for any other purposes? Is there an option for this data to be destroyed once I no longer reside at the complex? Not just the profile, but any data or information that goes with it?
The PooPrints representative assured me that my dog's DNA would not be sold, and honestly even after speaking with the rep I'm not totally sure what will happen to my dog's DNA profile after I no longer reside at the complex.
The actual DNA test required me to swab the inside of my pup's cheek for 10 seconds with two separate swab sticks. Sonny was definitely not feeling the test, and wiggled as much as he could. Luckily, Sonny is a yawner, so mid-yawn I was able to get the swab into his mouth. Unfortunately, Sonny didn't like being tricked, so he decided to take a chomp of the swab.
I was certain the swab was gone forever, but luckily he spit it back out on to the floor. The lady at my apartment complex said, "Wow, we haven't had that happen yet." Yeah, my dog is just a tad dramatic. Sonny put up another good fight for the second swab, but decided not to chomp on the stick again.
I really hate that I had to do this, but I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who had objections to being compelled to give up my dog's DNA. The poll in the previous article about this subject showed that 75% of people would not be okay with handing over their pup's DNA. Again, I feel like his DNA is now in a criminal doggy database, and it's just not fair. Innocent until proven guilty is apparently not a thing when it comes to dogs.
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