DNA-ing dog poo: Spanish city to create database of dog owners falling ‘foul’ of the law

© Arnd Wiegmann
Residents of a Spanish city might want to take their pooper scoopers with them the next time they take their dog for a walk. Local authorities want to create a database of dogs’ DNA in order to catch habitual offenders who fail to dispose of unwanted waste.

The plan will look to crack down on pet owners in the central Spanish city of Guadalajara, with local residents saying that dog mess is one of the major problems affecting them.

This measure will increase the vigilance on the streets in order to prevent dog-owners from leaving their pets' feces in the public roads,” the local city hall wrote in a statement, as cited by The Local.

"This situation is one of the number one complaints voiced throughout the year."

Police have the power to fine dog owners if they catch their pooches in the act. However, the new plan wants to go a step further, giving officers the chance to take samples they might find and then run them through the database to find the guilty parties.

Any dog owner who is tracked down will face a fine of €250 ($273) as well as the costs of processing the sample.

City authorities want to create the database by asking dog owners to give them samples of their pet’s hair of saliva.

"We hope that these measures will improve the health, hygiene and aesthetics of our city," said environmental councilor Francisco Ubeda at a presentation of the plan on Monday.

Guadalajara’s city hall is not the only place wanting to introduce the new technology. The London Borough of Barking (yes really!) and Dagenham also intends to set up a DNA database to identify human culprits who don’t clean up after their best friends.

The current law in the UK fines dog owners £100 ($143) on the spot if they are caught without a scooping bag, even if the dog has not defecated.

In Dorset, the issue was such a problem that any pooch poo discovered was sprayed a bright color and left for the dog owner, hopefully for them to see upon their return and shame them into picking it up.