Tel Aviv announces dog poop DNA tests to track down owners who don’t pick up after their pets

A massive dog DNA database aims to curb a recent uptick in animal feces on city streets.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Pet owners who don’t pick up after their furry friends in Tel Aviv will soon be in for a nasty surprise — and it won’t be stuck to the bottom of their shoes.

People who don’t clean up their dogs’ droppings will find hefty fines in their mailboxes, courtesy of a massive dog DNA database aimed at curbing a recent uptick in animal feces on city streets.

The Tel Aviv municipality announced Monday evening that it approved a new bylaw, which would require all dog owners to provide the city with a DNA sample from their pooches.

The DNA will be kept in a city-run database, and municipal inspectors will begin taking samples from uncollected dog droppings left on the street.

If a match is found in the database, the offending owner will be mailed a fine for failing to clean up, which will also include the cost of the testing and handling of the sample.

According to a statement from the city, Tel Aviv has one of the highest human-to-dog ratios in the world, with 1 in 11 residents owning a dog.

Despite increasing fines for violators who don’t pick up after their dogs, there’s been a spike in the presence of dog feces on city streets. In 2020 alone, there were some 6,766 calls and app reports made to the city about dog poop in public spaces.

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“An average of 500 kilos of dog feces a month is not collected by their owners,” read the statement.

“The cleanliness of the public space is an integral part of the city’s appearance. The municipality hopes that the…action to reduce the phenomenon will lead to a change among dog owners who do not collect their dog feces in the city.

“The municipality believes that through information, enforcement and cooperation…quality of life in the city will be improved.”