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Longmont’s Ironhorse Apartments have adopted a high-tech way to deter doggie doo-doo duty dereliction.

Ironhorse Apartments, at 600 Iron Horse Drive in southeast Longmont, has partnered with PooPrints, a Tennessee-based company that promises to use DNA to match “un-scooped pet waste to the canine offender,” according to the PooPrints website.

Chad Behren, district manager for Ironhorse Apartments’ parent company NALS Apartment Homes, said management hopes the PooPrints program will cut down on pet waste left around the apartment grounds.

“Unfortunately, a major complaint from residents is still that their neighbors don’t pick up after their pets,” Behren said via email. “We don’t want our residents to worry about stepping in dog waste. We are confident the majority of our residents are responsible pet owners, and only a handful of neglectful people have made pet waste an issue for all.”

Behren said management heard about PooPrints and “thought it was an intriguing solution to the pet waste problem, albeit a little eccentric.”

Residents are required to bring their pets to the clubhouse for initial DNA testing, which is done via a cheek swab. Ironhorse Apartments is paying PooPrints’ $40-per-pet fee for the DNA testing and other costs associated with the program.

Then, if a resident fails to pick up after their pet when their pet leaves an unwelcome surprise for maintenance crews, a sample of the poo is taken and sent to the PooPrints lab. In two weeks, PooPrints compares the DNA to all the dog DNA in their database and emails property management the identity of the dog or other pet.

Residents are fined $130 per occurrence of renegade pet feces.

Travis Bednar, 29, is a resident at Ironhorse Apartments and said he is in favor of the program.

“I moved here in December, and I did notice there was pet waste around the general area,” said Bednar, who owns a dog. “It got better since they announced the program. Neighbors said that last summer it was a big issue and it was all over the place.”

Using DNA testing to find discourteous dog owners is a trend taking hold at apartment complexes and other communities around the nation. The New York Times reported about a condominium complex using the tests in July, Fox 5 San Diego reported that apartment complexes were adopting the program in California in April and Channel 7 reported in January 2015 that more and more Denver-area apartment complexes are starting to implement PooPrints tests.

Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, antonaccik@times-call.com or twitter.com/ktonacci

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