Sunday, October 26, 2008

The straight poop: NYC gets serious about dog doo

Ok, this story ran a few days ago, but I thought it would make good Sunday reading...

This past week, New York City more than doubled its fine to dog owners who don't clean up after their animals: from $100 to $250. It's the first time the fine has gone up since the infamous "pooper scooper law" took effect thirty years ago. Read more in this NY Daily News article by Richard Schapiro.

While $250 may be a stiff enough penalty to persuade folks in most other cities to pack a plastic bag for walks, this is New York City we're talking about. Call me a skeptic (after all, I am a native New Yorker), but I'm not so sure it's gonna work.

If the City REALLY wants to get serious about tracking down offending poopsters and their owners, it oughta consider "Poo Prints", a new program apparently being offered by a Tennessee DNA laboratory. The basic idea is that everyone in a neighborhood, town or [insert geographic region here...] would be required to get their dog's DNA on file in the lab's registry. Then, any stray poop found on a street can be sent to the lab, analyzed and matched to an owner. Voila!

Really, could I make this up? I'm not even gonna try to take credit for finding this one. Thanks to Doug Powell of Kansas State's AnimalNet for unearthing this gem. (Doug, I have no idea how you find these things, but keep 'em coming!)

Of course, being a former journalist, I felt compelled to do a little more digging on this important news story. And unbelievably, according to likewise hard-hitting piece of journalism in the Holeycheese weblog, (photo courtesy of same), a city in Israel began a test program for poop identification last month. (How did I miss that?!)


Melissa said...


-- Leading Doggie DNA Test Now Detects 157 Breeds with 90 Percent Accuracy* --

Mars Veterinary™ has raised the bar on canine genetic identification by taking the industry’s best in mixed-breed DNA analysis and expanding its breed detection, further surpassing the number of breeds identified by any other canine genetics test available. From the American Foxhound to the Black and Tan Coonhound, the newly upgraded Wisdom Panel MX can now detect 157 breeds that may be present in a mutt, covering 153 of the 158 American Kennel Club (AKC) registered dogs plus four breeds found on the AKC’s Foundation List.

Beyond its database expansion, Wisdom Panel MX can pinpoint the breeds of mixed-breed dogs with an increased accuracy level of 90 percent. In fact, it is the only canine genetic identification test supplying consumers with such accuracy information.

“Every mixed-breed dog has a tale and Wisdom Panel MX helps tell the untold story of its heritage,” said Dr. Neale Fretwell, lead genetic research scientist at Mars Veterinary. “Through the breed expansion, Wisdom Panel MX can help separate fact from fiction and allow even more dog owners the ability to better understand their pets, in particular why dogs display certain behavioral or physical characteristics.”

About Wisdom Panel MX
Wisdom Panel MX was introduced last fall and since its inception has maintained category leadership in the field of mixed-breed DNA identification for dogs. What sets Wisdom Panel MX apart from the competition is that it doesn’t rely on a cheek swab test that, according to some published studies , only has a 25 to 40 percent success rate.** Instead, it uses a small blood sample – scientifically proven to be the “gold standard” for obtaining genetic material for analysis 95 percent of the time.

The simple blood draw test can be easily administered during routine veterinary visits – such as a new puppy vet visit or as part of an adult dog’s annual vaccination check-up. Understanding the makeup of mixed-breed dogs opens new windows for both dog owners and veterinarians to better understand their pets and what kind of activity plans best suit an individual dog.

Dog owners can purchase Wisdom Panel MX online at – still at the original retail price of $124.99 – or through veterinary clinics nationwide plus select pet retailers. Upon receipt, pet owners will be directed to visit their veterinarian for test administration. Once the results are received, dog owners are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their veterinarians to gain wisdom and insight into their dog’s genetic background and work together to develop their extended care plan.

--Showing the Love--
Mars Veterinary has run an analysis on all dogs that had a test administered from September 22, 2008 through October 20, 2008. Any dog that had a report that changed based on the new breed expansion will receive a free upgraded report automatically. Owners that tested their dog before September 22, 2008 can contact to request a new analysis. If any of the new breeds appear, a new report will be sent out for just $25 to cover the cost of printing and shipping the upgraded report.

For a complete list of newly added breeds, please visit

* Validation testing has resulted in an average accuracy of 90 percent in first generation cross-bred dogs of known parentage. Wisdom Panel™ MX is not intended to predict disease or behavior in any particular dog. Accuracy was determined by average positive predictive value across breeds studied.

** Hansen TV, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007;16:2072-2076, Swanson SM, et al. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol.

Joe said...

The wisdom panel has nothing to do with DNA testing on doggie poop. Besides, there is no need for a blood sample to get accurate result for the mixed breed test.

I use DDC for all my DNA testing...

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.