According to this article from Huffington Post Weird News, Naples is planning to perform DNA tests of dog poop left behind to determine who the pets belong to. This will help them improve accountability for not picking up after their pets. Once the owner is found, they will be fined 500 euros, which is equivalent to about $690. This method has already begun to spread to other places across the globe including Israel, Canada, and certain communities in 43 states in the U.S.
However, for this work, the dog must have its DNA collected and registered. When a sample of poop is found, it can be sent to the lab and analyzed to see who it belongs to. The owner of the dog will then be fined for not cleaning up after them.
In my opinion, this is an extreme measure. It is almost too far to resort to lab-analyzing poop samples in order to keep a community “clean”. First of all, this poop is decomposable in the first place, and it shouldn’t be as big of an issue as people make it into. Secondly, I think the fine is incredibly high for the offense. Almost $700 is much more than most people probably spend on their dog per month, and having to pay that much for not cleaning up after them is absurd.
If pet owners didn’t want to get fined for this, they could just opt out of having their dog registered, which means no matches would be found for the DNA from the poop. This is an easy way around the fine, with little to no consequence to the owner. This is especially true given that the article mentions it will actually cost the owner between $35 and $60 to have their dog registered. Even if registering your pet was required, there would always be people who got around it. Therefore, there are many flaws in this system, and I hope Naples works these out before seriously considering charging people $700 for not cleaning up after their pet.