Officials in the small Italian town of Malnate have a novel approach to finding out which dog owners don’t clean up after their pets: use the dog’s DNA.
Earlier this year Malnate’s environmental department asked all dog-loving residents to register their pups in the city’s database. The city’s 2,156 registered dogs had to submit a saliva sample and owners who did not voluntarily bring their dogs within the allotted time were fined $58 for non-compliance with the new ordinance.
The problem of dog excrement has been a headache for city officials in Italy and all across Europe. Heavy fines have been put in place but it can be difficult to enforce the law unless the offending dog and owner are caught in the act.