Should CSI-Style Tests Become a Part of Your Apartment Property Pet Policy?


Doggie DNA

Did you catch last season’s episode of CSI: Miami that was set at an apartment property?

Horatio was grilling one of the residents:

We might be in the dog days of summer, but
that’s no reason to unleash a huge mess on this property.

That wasn’t my dog, dude!

Horatio holds up a test tube and points to a dog pile
on the property lawn, then nods at the resident’s dog.

You’re barking up the wrong tree.
This DNA test says that this doggie doo is what that doggie did.

Several other police officers gaze at Horatio with admiration. He turns to them.

Time to collar this perp.

He pushes up his sunglasses and we hear
the signature CSI: Miami Yeaaaaahhhhhh!” in the background.

Wait, you missed that one? You think I dreamed it up?


Well, maybe.

But if you think that using a DNA test to figure out which dog is leaving messes on your property is over the top, you’d find there are some property managers who disagree with you.

Check out this video news story from ABC News.

What do you think? Are those properties going too far with their DNA tests? Or are they just ahead of the pack? And are the penalties for violations appropriate? Can bad pet owners no longer hide behind their furry friends?

Dogs can be a hot issue for residents and properties. On the one hand, dogs can have consequences when residents don’t care for them—or clean up after them—properly: messes around the property, noise from barking, damage from scratching, danger from bites, etc.

On the other hand, you’ve got dog owner residents who love their dogs and want them to be a part of their lives in your community. They’re anxious to keep their dogs and their homes. We’ve even seen recent stories about people declaring normal pets as service animals in order to use Fair Housing laws to get around “no pet” policies.

I can certainly understand why residents and staff would get upset if pet owners aren’t abiding by the property’s pet policy of picking up after their dogs. But I’m wondering how that news coverage might look to prospects at those properties.

What do you think? Are the DNA tests more bark than bite or could they be a growing trend? Will those properties win best in show? Can I dig up any more pet puns? Howl it out in the comments below.


Contributor, Property Management Insider

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Michael Cunningham is Content Marketing Manager at ProofHQ, and the former Managing Editor of He worked as a social media manager for RealPage, Inc., a provider of on-demand software solutions that integrate and streamline single-family and a wide variety of multifamily rental property management business functions. He is responsible for promoting the company through various media channels, including editorial, print and online advertising, and social media. Michael received his education at Indiana University where he majored in English.

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