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      DNA testing could stop dog doo-doo ditchers

      It's a job no one really enjoys doing, cleaning up after your pet in the yard. But it's definitely not something that other people enjoy looking at our stepping in either.

      That's why one Traverse City apartment complex is going to start charging renters who don't pick up after their pets.

      The Arbors of Traverse will soon start a new program through the company, PooPrints. Apartment managers say it's a successful program that has been used at some of their sister property sites.

      "It's always been something that's kind of been a concern," said Arbors of Traverse manager, Kelly Thomson. "For the most part our residents are really responsible and they want to take care of the community but for those who maybe aren't as careful about it, this will help resolve the situation."

      Residents will be required to make an appointment at the apartment office within the next three weeks to come in and have their dog's cheek swabbed. The DNA sample will be sent away and kept in a database that the complex will then be able to use to identify any pet waste they find on the grounds.

      The process will cost residents forty dollars.

      "We want to help people," said Thomson. "It's not to catch people."

      Managers say they have a high priority to keep their grounds clean for all of their residents to enjoy. They say when people don't clean up after their pets, it can ruin it for everyone.

      Groundskeeper, Todd Ward, says it gets frustrating when people don't follow the rules and clean up after their pets. He says the amounts vary, but that he and his team have to clean up pet waste on a daily basis. He says it's not only annoying to the other residents, but it also causes damage to the lawn.

      "It's naturally frustrating when you're cleaning up and trying to revitalize something, rather than just keep it going or make it better," said Ward. My biggest concern is the health of people around them and their pets as well. It's a nice neighborhood. These pets need to be taken care of and that's part of taking care of your pet."

      If your pet's waste is found on the grounds, a small sample will be collected and sent away to the lab to be identified. Violators will be required to pay a $150 fine.

      According to managers at the Arbors of Traverse, new residents pay a pet fee of $250 when they move in, which covers the cost of the DNA test and cleaning expenses. Residents who own a pet are also required to pay a monthly fee of forty dollars.