An apartment complex outside Dallas has become the latest to hire a company that conducts DNA tests on unscooped dog poop, with an eye toward fining, and possibly evicting, any owners who fail to clean up.
The management at NorthSide at Legacy, in Plano, informed tenants in a letter Friday that they will be required to bring their dogs in for cheek swabs in order to establish a DNA registry of all dogs at the complex, Fox News reported.
The testing is conducted by PooPrints, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based company that is marketing the service nationwide.
Once all the dogs are registered, any dog waste left on the property can be sent off to the PooPrints lab to be matched to the dog.
The fine for failing to clean up will be $250. Subsequent infractions or unpaid fines can result in rental agreements being terminated, the letter said.
“The goal of the program is to help maintain a clean and sanitary environment for all of our residents,” said David Marguiles, who represents Lincoln Properties, the company that owns and operates the apartments.
We’ve told you before about apartment complexes in New Hampshire, and Minnesota that have instituted the program, and how PooPrints has also tried to persuade the Dallas City Council to use its services city-wide.
A representative from PooPrints said they have hundreds of clients in 33 states.
Another Dallas apartment complex, The Ilume Cedar Springs, contracted with PooPrints last fall, with great success, according to management.
Residents there have been much more diligent about cleaning up after their animals, and only 12 – 15 samples of feces have been sent off to the lab for identification, according to the property manager.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, apartments, cleaning, dallas, dna, dna registry, dna testing, dog, dogs, feces, northside at legacy, not picked up, pets, pick-up, plano, poop, pooprints, properties, scoop, testing, unscooped, waste
A company we’ve told you about before, called PooPrints, made its case before the Dallas City Council this week, promising it could solve one of life’s great and ongoing mysteries — and it’s not who shot J.R.
It’s “Whose poop is this?” and, as company officials pointed out, tracking down and fining the owners of dogs who didn’t clean up could bring in millions in revenue for the city.
(Not to mention millions in revenue for the company.)
At least one Dallas City Council member expressed more than a passing interest in the company’s proposal to establish a citywide doggie DNA registry that would allow unscooped piles of poop to be traced to their source.
The company is already working with apartment and condo complexes around the country, but now it seems to have its sights set on signing up entire cities.
We, in case you can’t tell, hate this idea (and we pick up).
NBC5 in Dallas reports that, while some Dallas City Council members chuckled Wednesday when they heard about the idea, others thought it had merit.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Councilwoman Angela Hunt said. “I think we do need enforcement, especially in some of our denser areas where you have a lot of folks living with dogs and, if they’re not picking up. It creates a problem.”
PooPrints said cracking down, through DNA testing, could help clean up the environment. “This waste does run off into the Trinity River, and it does affect our ecosystem,” spokesman Chris Taylor said. “And we do want to keep our parks clean. We want to keep them healthy. This is a very easy way to do it.”
Company officials say residents could be required to pay for the $29.95 kits required to get a DNA sample. The city — while it would pay for the tests on the poop itself – $49.95 each — would more than recoup that expense through fining perpetrators.
The Ilume apartment complex on Cedar Springs Road in Dallas is already using the program on its property. Residents are required to record their pet’s DNA, and they’re fined $250 if waste on the property is tracked to that pet. A second offense leads to eviction.
“We’ve gone from picking up maybe an hour a day of poop, to picking up maybe one or two a month,” manager Joshuah Welch said.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: angela hunt, animals, city council, dallas, dna, dog, dogs, enforcement, environment, eviction, feces, fines, kits, penalties, pets, poo prints, poop, registry, revenue, scoop, shit, testing, unscooped, waste
The starving stray dog rescuers initially dubbed Java, because of the coffee can around her neck, has been renamed Olivia, and she’s recovering from her surgery Monday.
Authorities estimate she spent a month with the can encasing her neck and cutting into her ears. She apparently gave birth to a litter during that time, though it’s not likely any pups survived, based on the emaciated condition Olivia was found in.
But she’s been making steady improvement since having surgery Monday. “She’s really doing remarkably well,” a board member with Animal Allies of Texas told the Dallas Morning News.
According to Animal Allies, Dallas Animal Control is not investigating whether the dog was abused because there is no evidence the can was intentionally placed on her head.
Vets expect Olivia, who still needs to be treated for heartworm and spayed, to spend another week at Metro Paws Animal Hospital. After that, she will be fostered by one of the veterinary technicians.
It could be up to four months before she is put up for adoption.
Contributions to Olivia’s care can be made through the Animal Allies website or by calling Metro Paws at 214-887-1400.
(Photos: Animal Allies)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal allies, animal control, animals, can, coffee, coffee can, contributions, dallas, dog, dogs, donations, found, java, litter, metro paws animal hospital, neck, olivia, pets, puppies, rescue, rescued, starving, stray, surgery, texas
A starving dog with a coffee can around her neck was dropped off Sunday at Dallas Animal Services, along with a second dog who appeared to be looking after her.
Both dogs were brought to the shelter by a citizen who who didn’t wish to be identified. He said he found the two dogs.
Officials at the shelter say the emaciated dog, named Java by its rescuers, has had the can around her neck for some time. It had cut into her ears, nearly severing one. The can was removed and Java was transferred to Metro Paws Animal Hospital for treatment.
The shelter posted on its Facebook page that “the next few days are critical. We have to get her stable enough for surgery and watch out for organ failure due to her starved condition. But that tail is wagging.”
The second dog, who was dubbed Joshua, is healthy and up for adoption.
“He was shy and frightened at all that was going on,” the Facebook post says, “but he was determined to be a reassuring presence for the girl.”
(Photo: Dallas Animal Services)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal allies of texas, animal cruelty, can, coffee, coffee can, cruelty to animals, cuts, dallas, dallas animal services, dog, dogs, dropped, ears, emaciated, found, injuries, java, joshua, metro paws animal hospital, neck, shelter, starving, stray, texas
In a new campaign ad, Newt Gingrich has seized upon opponent Mitt Romney’s 25-year-old doggie debacle — the boneheaded transporting of his Irish setter Seamus on the roof of his car.
The web ad released yesterday by the Gingrich campaign revives the story of a Romney family road trip during which Romney put a crate holding his dog on the roof of his station wagon for a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario, according to ABC News.
It’s the same story — and a true one — that came up during Romney’s 2008 White House bid. Four years later, it infuriates animal lovers no less. At a campaign event in South Carolina last week, a protester with a “Dogs Against Romney” sign greeted Romney supporters while standing next to a car with a stuffed animal dog strapped to the roof.
Romney has continued to defend his actions: “This is a completely air-tight kennel, mounted on the top of our car,” he said in a Fox News interview, part of which is used in Gingrich’s ad. “He was in a kennel at home a great deal of time as well. It was where he was comfortable.”
The Gingrich video, which includes six clips of other “Romney gaffes,” then shows white words flashing across a black screen: “Imagine what Obama would do with a candidate like that.”
Here’s the short version (a longer one is here):
In 2009, Dawn Rizos, the operator of The Lodge, a gentlemen’s club that does business under the name DCG, Inc., was informed she’d been selected to receive an “Entrepeneur of the Year” award from Gingrich’s organization, American Solutions.
Gingrich invited Rizos to a private dinner in Washington to receive the award, provided she made the requested $5,000 donation, which she did.
The week before the event, though, American Solutions realized they had accidentally bestowed the award on a strip club, and rescinded the invitation. The organization refunded the $5,000 to Rizos, who donated it to an animal rescue organization — specifically to create a shelter for pit bulls, which was dubbed “Newt’s Nook.”
The next year, Rizos got another letter, under Gingrich’s signature, containing a membership card to American Solutions and requesting a donation. This time around, in light of the previous snub, Rizos didn’t take him up on the offer.
But she did send him a Lodge VIP card, entitling him to preferred seating, free auto detailing, steak and lobster dinners and access to the the club’s “intimate members-only lounge.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, american solutions, animals, campaign, car, carrier, crate, dallas, dogs, gentlemen's club, irish setter, kennel, mitt romney, newt gingrich, pets, politics, presidency, roof, seamus, strip club, the lodge, trip
Breed: Chihuahua mix
Age: About 13
Encountered: At a Sunday street concert in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Backstory: Dart’s owners found him while they were living in Dallas. He was under some railroad tracks. They took him home and named him after the city’s transit system, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART.
He seems to have it pretty cushy now, including his own little lime green beach chair they carry along to make sure he’s comfortable.
(Roadside Encounters are a regular feature of Travels with Ace. To see them all click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animals, breeds, chihuahuas, dallas, dallas area rapid transit, dart, dog, dogs, encounter, found, north carolina, pets, photography, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace, winston-salem
About four months ago, I gave Petside.com a hard time for choosing Dallas as the second-most dog friendly city in America — this just after the Big D bestowed the key to the city on Michael Vick.
My point — and I did have one — was that a city’s dog friendliness is, or should be, based on more than mathematical formulas that tally how many groomers, pet boutiques, veterinarians, etc., it has per capita.
Now, along comes Dog Fancy magazine with its picks — based on similar criteria — for the five dog-friendliest cities in 2011.
Among them: Santa Cruz, Calif., which for 33 years has banned dogs from part of its downtown area.
True, the ban — finally — has been lifted, conditionally, effective this week. And true, there are other very dog-friendly parts of Santa Cruz, including some beaches, and plenty of fine services as well. But a city that has banned dogs from its main drag for three decades being chosen as among the dog-friendliest in the nation?
Were I one of the other cities vying for the honor, I’d have a bone to pick with that.
The world’s most widely read dog magazine, as Dog Fancy calls itself, named Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the winner of the 2011 DogTown USA competition, saluting it as America’s most dog-friendly city.
While we couldn’t agree more with Dog Fancy’s top choice last year — Provincetown, Mass., as we showed you during our travels, is indeed highly dog friendly — we have some trouble with this year’s selections.
The other three cities in the top five were Bend, Oregon; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Doylestown, Pa., where, earlier this month, a dog was found to have been given poisoned hot dogs and shot 32 times — allegedly by his owner, the golf course superintendent — while tied to fence of the Doylestown Country Club.
The acts of one deranged person shouldn’t blow a city’s chance at being proclaimed “dog-friendliest,” but we do think the number of animal cruelty cases that surface in a city should be a small part of any formula assessing dog friendliness.
The criteria used to select winners in the Dog Fancy contest — sponsored by Natural Balance Pet Foods and Wahl Clipper – include the amount of dog-friendly open spaces and dog parks, veterinarians, pet supply stores and other services, events celebrating dogs and their owners, and municipal laws that support and protect pets.
“Journalist Barbara Walters has saluted Coeur d’Alene as one of her favorite cities, calling it a little slice of heaven,” Dog Fancy Editor Ernie Slone said in announcing the results — though, Barbara being human, what the heck that has to do with anything I don’t know.
“What we discovered is that whether a dog likes a place to run and hike, loves to mingle downtown, or needs a new home, dogs and their owners have it made in Coeur d’Alene, a little slice of dog heaven.”
Slone traveled to Coeur d’Alene to present $5,000 to the Kootenai County Dog Park Association. Additionally, Natural Balance Pet Foods will donate 1,000 pet food meals to Kootenai Humane Society on behalf of Coeur d’Alene, and 500 pet food meals to each of the regional winners.
Given all that, I don’t want to totally disrespect these lists and the organizations that put them together, but I will suggest that they are not as much about truth or reality as they are about politics, public relations and sales.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bend, cities, coeur dalene, contest, dallas, dog fancy, dog fancy magazine, dog friendliest, dog friendly, doylestown, formula, idaho, key to the city, knoxville, kootenai county dog park, list, lists, michael vick, natural balance, petside, picks, politics, provincetown, public relations, reality, sales, santa cruz, wahl clippers
Ace’s favorite strip club — and, to be clear, the only one he has ever visited — is hosting a car wash this weekend to benefit Best Friends, the Utah animal sanctuary that rehabilitated many of the dogs seized from Michael Vick.
The annual charity car wash, “Headlights and Hounds,” has been scheduled for Saturday, July 16 at The Lodge, an upscale gentlemen’s club in Dallas where Ace spent some time during our travels.
A spokesman for The Lodge said the event, which lasts from noon to 6 p.m., will be “family-friendly,” featuring dancers in bikinis and other staffers washing cars and motorcycles to raise money for Best Friends.
Best Friends, best known for its animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, is a national organization that works to eliminate the needless killing of millions of animals through supporting shelters, adoption programs and spay/neuter efforts around the country.
It was one of several organizations that took in and rehabilitated some of the animals seized from the dogfighting operation of NFL quarterback Michael Vick.
Almost all of them have since moved on to happy homes — including Mel, who was adopted two years ago by Sunny Hunter, VIP manager at the Lodge, and her husband, Dallas radio personality Richard Hunter. (Ace got to spend some time with Mel last summer.)
“We have a special connection with Best Friends because of Mel,” said Lodge owner Dawn Rizos. “But beyond that, this is a wonderful organization and we’re proud we can help support all the good that they do.”
The Lodge, which is donating all proceeds from the car wash to charity, has raised nearly $200,000 for animal causes over the years.
The car wash will also feature a buffet, music, games and psychic readings by Sandra Larson, a Texas pet psychic.
The Lodge is located at 10530 Spangler Road in Dallas, just off Northwest Highway and one mile west of I-35E.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, benefit, best friends, bikinis, car wash, carwash, charity, dallas, dawn rizos, dog, dogs, family friendly, fundraising, gentlemen's club, headlights and hounds, lodge, mel, michael vick, pets, richard hunter, strip club, sunny hunter, the lodge, travels with ace
The problem with using a mathematical formula to pick the dog-friendliest U.S cities is that math is cold and calculating and fails to take into account life’s little nuances, or sometimes its big ones, or sometimes humanity at all.
I’d guess that explains how Petside.com picked Dallas — where the mayor recently gave Michael Vick a key to the city — as the second dog friendliest in America.
Petside reported last week that “after scouring the country” and compiling statistics, it has chosen San Diego as America’s dog friendliest city, with Dallas in second place and Seattle third.
Petside, a website for pet owners and pet enthusiasts, released its list of “Top 10 Pet-Friendly U.S. Cities” last Thursday. The rankings take into consideration the number of dog parks and major pet stores, vets per population and pet-friendly establishments and events.
How Dallas snuck in between two truly dog friendly cities, I don’t know. It has two parks where dogs can romp unleashed. Beyond that, Petside cites only the fact that Dallas has lots of dog-related official activities.
San Diego, on the other hand, has more than a dozen dog-friendly beaches and parks, eight major pet stores, more than 800 veterinarians and more than 50 restaurants that allow pets on their patios.
Rounding out Petside’s top 10 were Minneapolis, Denver, Tuscon, Charlotte, Fort Worth, Sacramento and Phoenix.
Petside also announced a new app, called Pet Places, that allows dog owners to look up vets, kennels and other pet-related businesses in cities around the country.
If you don’t like Petside’s list of dog-friendly cities, you can always find another one, some better researched than others.
Dogfriendly.com, though it provides little information on how they arrive at their choices, puts out an annual list. (Earlier this month, it also picked San Diego first, with Portland, Oregon second and Austin third.) Dog Fancy, which last year named Provincetown, Mass., the dog-friendliest city will be coming out with its annual listing soon. Foodandwine.com puts out a dog-friendliest city list too, but, given they are also busy with matters of food and wine, I guess, only takes time to choose five.
My advice? Taken any list of dog-friendly cities, if not with a glass of wine, with a grain of salt.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, charlotte, cities, dallas, denver, dog friendliest, dog friendly, florida, fort worth, friendliest, key to the city, list, lists, math, measure, measuring, michael vick, minneapolis, money, perceptions, petside, provincetown, sacramento, san diego, seattle, statistics, top ten, tucson, u.s.
Now, Mel, one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, has one, too.
As for who’s more deserving, well, you know how I feel.
Mel was only about a year old when he was seized from the Vick estate and dogfighting operation in Virginia, where he was believed to have been used as a bait dog. He was one of 47 survivors, and one of the 22 who, deemed most hopeless, were sent to Best Friends, the animal sanctuary in southern Utah.
After spending nearly two years at the Utah animal sanctuary, Mel was adopted by Richard Hunter, a Dallas radio personality and his wife Sunny, manager of VIP services for a swanky gentlemen’s club called The Lodge.
When our travels took us through Texas we met up with Hunter and Mel, joining them for a ride around town because Mel seems most comfortable in the car. Ace piled in the back seat with Mel and the Hunter’s older dog, Pumpkin.
The next time we heard from Richard Hunter, was in February, after he confronted Vick during a Dallas appearance.
Hunter, one of many who were outraged that Vick was being presented a key to the city by interim Mayor Dwaine Caraway, got as close as he could to him and offered him a chance to see his former dog Mel. Vick didn’t take him up on the offer and Hunter was shoved away by the quarterback’s entourage.
Now we get word that, over the weekend, Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt surprised Hunter by presenting him the John LaBella Award at an Eastlake Pet Orphanage banquet — and presenting Mel with a key to the city.
During the presentation, the Dallas Morning News reports, Hunt had some choice words for Caraway.
“One of my colleagues in the city of Dallas showed a grave lapse in judgment by awarding the highest honor our city an bestow – our key to the city – on someone who was entirely undeserving and someone who has shown serious cruelty and inhumanity,” she said.
Hunt then awarded Mel with a key to the city — an edible one no less.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, angela hunt, animals, bait dog, best friends, confrontation, dallas, dallas city council, dogfighting, dogs, dwaine caraway, former vick dog, interim, key to the city, mayor, mel, michael vick, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, richard hunter, sunny hunter, survivor, texas, travels with ace, vick dog