Checking Dog DNA – Is It In Your Future?

I had never thought of this – dog DNA to find out who is not using a pooper scooper! Here is a question sent to me through the Guru site, or should I say suggestion?? This might be a way to catch the perpetrators that allow their pets to “do the deed” in the dark of night or early dusk of morning, or swear “it’s not my dog.”

Hello, can our HOA board based in California enact a legal mandate to have all Dog Owners submit their Dog’s DNA to create a database to match owners’ dogs to the feces left behind on the communities property?  A simple swipe of the dog’s inner cheek collects the DNA and if a match occurs for the offender, a fine will be imposed.  Seems harmless and an effective deterrent.  Is it legal and can the bylaws be changed to correct this irresponsible behavior that’s unsightly plus the health concerns for the bacteria each feces contains?”

I don’t know how much it costs to “type” the dogs by DNA. If it’s affordable then what the heck. Maybe its a good solution to a big problem. Dog feces in the common area causes all kinds of problems: smell, health issues, problems for the landscapers, a danger to children in the area, and an aesthetic turnoff.

I would say that if an association was able to get an amendment approved by members to the recorded property restrictions (commonly called CC&Rs or Declarations of some kind in California) to require owners to submit their dogs for testing that it would be legal to get the DNA. Short of such an amendment, there is authority in many of the governing documents, bylaws or recorded declarations, that give boards the right to adopt rules and regulations relating to conduct include the keeping of pets. If there is a problem with owners not being able to identify the problem poopers it might even be legal if a board simply passes a rule to collect the dog DNA, but as far as I know, this has not been tested in the California courts. This is a similar question to whether associations can pass a rule to prohibit dogs that are on the lists kept by some insurance companies as uninsurable. I don’t have any basis upon which to opine what a court would do if either of these restrictions or requirements would be held if not approved by the majority of the association owners or by a proper document amendment.



It’s worth discussing though as this can be a big problem in an association.  I heard for the first time today about an association where neighbors started going through the community trash dumpster to identifyand tie papers in trash bags to individual units to  find out who was dumping stinky kitty litter in bags that were flimsy and breaking open, leaving a big smelly mess in the dumpster. Desperate problems sometimes call for desperate measures.


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