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Florida HOA Uses Forced DNA Swab Samples to Fine Dog Poop Violators

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Those familiar with an HOA know the problems condo owners face. The condo association at Village of Abacoa in Florida has created an unusual fix to stop dog poop violations: Forced DNA swab samples are being taken as evidence against owners who allow canines to defecate in common areas. But the association's claim it has the right to confiscate a violator's dog creates a real legal issue.
A homeowner's association in Jupiter, Florida has had it with irresponsible dog owners. While some condos don't allow pets on complex grounds, period, The Village of Abacoa does let canines on the premises. Up to 40% of homeowners are estimated to own a dog in a condominium association that contains about 458 units.
Dog owners in the complex must now pay a $200 fee beginning August 1. That two hundred bucks per canine owner is destined straight to pay the "DNA Pet World Registry" through a company called "Poo Prints" -- for a DNA version of the Jupiter canine's genetic fingerprint to be maintained and on file.
Those piles of doggy droppings now found in the HOA's common areas -- with the exception of "exclusive areas" that belong to individual property owners and include patios -- that waste collected for mailing. A lucky maintenance person, an employee of Abacoa's property managers Versa Management will get to collect marble-sized dog poop samples that are discovered to be left lying in common areas -- packaged in a plastic tube for mailing to a Knoxville, Tennessee lab that will perform analysis.
That's going to be one sorry mail carrier destined for that route. With roughly 800 miles separating the two cities of Jupiter and Knoxville, there's plenty of time for en route curing.
Regular homeowners dues include maintenance and use of common areas, shared by all owners. Owners are sick of dog owners who choose to ignore their own pets' waste, leaving it in the space shared by other owners -- in an ongoing nuisance that's had condo owners ticked. To curb the waste issue, DNA testing now leads to institution of a new fine by the Abacoa Board: dog owners cited with leaving their canine's waste behind could be facing a fine of $1,000 bucks.
That fine is not an option: for owners found in violation of leaving dog poop behind, but who outright refuse the new $1,000 fine, the Village of Abacoa HOA and its property management company of Versa Management could begin processing to place a lien on homes. Non-payment could mean a homeowner risks losing the condo to the association through a legal process that would literally make the association become the property's new owner.
Dog owners nationwide are in an uproar over the new DNA testing in Jupiter, Florida -- perhaps afraid the practice could spread to HOA complexes far and wide. Pet owners claim an HOA has no legal right to be demanding a swab of their dog's DNA.
But the HOA says it has no choice, other than DNA analysis and fines, in a dog doo problem that's become beyond foul: Some Abacoa Village property owners have been allowing dogs to defecate and urinate all over, including in common areas like elevators, in stairwells -- even on carpets and in the lobby, as well as in shared and common areas on the exterior.
The dog waste problem has become not only an extensive one but an expensive one, that's costing the HOA -- and all its owners -- big-time. The Board has favored the new DNA rule for dog defecation after it says the homeowners association has been spending between$10,000 to $12,000 per year replacing and cleaning carpets, according to Abaco Village Board President Matthew Brickman.
As one Abacoa homeowner puts it: "The smell is disgusting. Residents are embarrassed to have company. Dog crap is everywhere."
"PooPrints", a dog DNA franchise with the slogan "Match the Mess through DNA, has been brought on board by the Jupiter condo Board Members. Poo Prints, by Bio Pet Vet Lab, is a Knoxville-based company that works with DNA World Pet Registry -- a registry service in identifying actual dog doo.
The Village of Abacoa Condominium Association dog owners will have a swabbed sample taken from their canine's mouth after paying a $200 one-time fee to the homeowners association. The DNA Pet World Registry company will keep that swab on file to determine the dog's DNA -- and match up future offenders. For that two hundred bucks, the dog is also issued a identification tag to wear on its collar.
For those who try to bypass the new DNA rule for pups, there's a hefty "late fee" for those beyond thirty days past due: Canine owners, at Abacoa, who choose to pay for the DNA services after August 31 will be charged more than double the regular fee, upped to $500.
Village of Abacoa homeowners will be paying about double the normal Poo Prints charge of $90, which includes sign-up and swab testing for the initial DNA sample. The $200 to $500 charge from the HOA is intended to defray clean-up costs and pay for doggie doo bags that will be distributed for free in the condo complex to dog owners.
As it turns out, dog poop -- and DNA match-up is a serious business that's becoming seriously profitable. Feces identification can only be used to match a canine's poop. It won't work for urine. Apparently the Village of Abacoa Board will still be replacing some carpet.
Fines are all good and, well, fine -- but there's a much bigger issue that's got pet owners up in arms: the Village of Abacoa apparently, additionally, claims it's got a right to confiscate dogs that are a "persistent problem". That's one HOA that invest in one hell of a Defense team.


The Village of Abacoa Condominium Association Jupiter, FL 33458
United States
26° 54' 29.1168" N, 80° 6' 33.6852" W
Bio Pet Vet Lab - Poo Prints
6701 Baum Dr., Suite 110
Knoxville, TN 37919
United States
Phone: (865) 546-2862
Fax: (865) 971-1969
35° 55' 35.886" N, 84° 0' 33.9804" W
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