Scientific Checks and Balances

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Let’s talk SCIENCE! You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. We’ve seen more and more comments questioning our scientific processes and how we do the doggie DNA. As a scientific company, we take immense pride in our methods and the success that they’ve brought us and our 4,000 community partners. 

We have developed strict protocols to provide checks and balances for both residents and property managers. These ensure that all PooPrints customers are treated fairly.

We believe residents should have the ability to challenge the credibility of our processes and know their dog’s ‘match’ is truly a ‘match’. Our most used ‘check’ for our program is a DNA Verification Swab. Yes — it’s true that you can’t argue with DNA, but you can verify it. 

A verification swab gives residents the ability to know with full confidence that their dog is responsible for a match sample. If a resident ever feels that there is no way that their dog could be responsible or that there was confusion with the DNA swab, they can request a verification swab through their property. The resident should then reswab their dog in the presence of community management. We will process that swab to compare it to the original swab on file as well as the waste sample. 

laboratory scientist dog pooprints

DNA verification swabs are also widely used by property managers. As more and more communities are implementing  PooPrints, more and more residents are being registered. This creates situations where residents and their pets transfer between PooPrints communities. As an extra measure, the community accepting the pet will usually have the resident do a DNA verification test to ensure that the dog moving to the community is the same dog that was previously registered with PooPrints.

Another hot topic is the contamination question. What happens if a dog poops on top of another dog’s poop? What happens if there’s urine?

We understand that community size and pet populations can differ from property to property — meaning some communities have smaller areas for dogs but more dogs in them. In the rare event that two dogs go to the bathroom in the exact same spot and the samples are somehow smooshed together and collected, that sample will NOT yield a result.

If our lab detects more than one strand of DNA in a sample, it is automatically ‘failed’. We are not here to determine which resident’s dog pooped more or how to report that, so we don’t even mess with that. 

The cross contamination conversation usually brings up the question of urine, too. We use epithelial cells from waste to extract the DNA for analysis. FUN FACT: A healthy dog’s urine should not have any epithelial cells in it, which means no DNA for us to test. In the event a dog is not healthy and there are epithelial cells present, the sample will still fail since there are two different strands of DNA. Bottom line — we’ve got you covered, we won’t be reporting any possibly-contaminated samples.

And for our grand finale, we have our proprietary stabilizing solution. Our solution in each waste kit locks in the integrity of the sample, meaning it preserves the DNA for an extended amount of time. This alleviates any stress on property managers to rush samples back into and they don’t have to worry about a kit expiring. This also eliminates any worry from a resident that a sample could be compromised due to age. 

PooPrints dog poop DNA waste collection process

We totally know that the questions will still be asked and the “ponzi-scheme” name calling will still happen but, we hope some of this extra info helps you better understand the program. We are very proud of our program and while we will always have critics, you can rest assured knowing it is backed by pretty tough science. 

Some quick facts about our lab to close this thing out:

  • Our lab is the only accredited dog feces testing lab in the WORLD
  • Our lab is accredited by the International Organization of Standardization under ISO 17025 2005 
  • All of our staff has obtained at least a Bachelors of Science and completed our rigorous training 
  • Have any questions or need some clarification?  Call, email, or chat with us
 
Have any questions or need some clarification?  Call, email, or chat with us

Poop Rules…no like actual rules.

PooPrints dog poop DNA waste collection process
PooPrints dog poop DNA waste collection process

Poop rules...no like actual rules.

Property managers: Do you know what your results mean? Results are obviously very important — they’re how we get matches — but what about the other outcomes? We’re defining what separates each of these result categories and how to tackle them to ultimately get more matches!

The first result type — which hopefully we all know well — is a Match. Quick recap! A Match means that the DNA in the waste sample matches the DNA of a dog you have registered on your property. If you need help navigating to find Matches and see the info with them, let us know. We offer weekly trainings on the DNA World Pet Registry!

Another result option is a No Match. Like Matches, these do have a solid, complete genetic profile but that DNA does not match up to any of the dogs actually registered on your community. What this usually boils down to is an unauthorized/hidden pet or a guest pet. While this sounds like the end of the road, it’s not. Behind the curtain of our program, we have built in a few checks-and-balances to help you combat these. 

First and foremost – check the collection notes that are tied to each sample. Every waste sample collection kit has all the necessary tools to scoop that poop but, it also has a card with an area to detail date, time, and location of the collection. Secondly, in our database, we have stored the DNA of these No Matches and can see how many waste samples belong to one pet. Last but not least, our lab reruns No Matches against the database twice a month, in case you’ve gotten any dogs registered that were once unaccounted for.

Put all of these little bits together in a scenario: Say we have two or three No Matches and from the collection notes, you can see that they were all found around Building 5. On our lab’s end, we can see that all the DNA in these No-Match samples belong to the same dog. Sowe know, only 1 dog is responsible, we just don’t know which dog. Intuitively, your community can do a building check and get that hidden dog registered so those No Matches flip to Matches. Then, you get to fine that resident and recoup your costs! 

While No Matches can be frustrating, don’t get discouraged! These ALWAYS have the opportunity to flip so you can recoup your costs. Reach out to us and we can provide you with a No Match report to help you nail down who the culprit may be.

Now, on to Fails. These are almost entirely based off of collection method. There are a few things that when collecting can result in a Fail:

  • Too little or too much of a sample. Yes, you can really give us too much poo. You only want to fill the bottle up about half-way or a nickel sized slice. Each of our collection bottles are filled with a small amount of our stabilizing solution. If you get too much poo in the bottle, there’s not enough solution to counteract that pesky bacteria on the sample. Too much bacteria means it will degrade the DNA in transit, and we’ll get a failed sample. So, be sure you only send us a bit! 
  • The sample was cross contaminated. This means the lab has detected two different canine DNA in the sample. These samples automatically fail, as we do not want to get in the business of determining which resident’s dog had more DNA and who pays what. Cross contamination is rare, but technically it could happen!
  • The integrity of the sample has been damaged which in turn damages the DNA. This can happen if a sample has been heavily disturbed by outside forces (foot traffic) or if was first stored in plastic before sampling. If a sample is in a plastic bag (like a poo bag), you’re increasing your chances of getting a fail. Not only will bacteria grow inside the plastic and destroy the DNA, but once it’s been highly distrubed (i.e. picking it up into the bag and probably smooshing it a little) chances are that many of the epithelial cells on the outside of the sample will be damaged or gone entirely.

Did you ever know there were so many rules about poo? Knowing the difference between your results is very important in the management of our program. If you’ve read this and you’re even more confused, reach out to us! We are more than happy to help you navigate our system or provide additional material on collection. 

Importance of Pet Ownership

apartment family with happy dog
The  
Importance
 of Pet Ownership

It’s no that pets play a huge role in our day-to-day lives. Besides the value of service animals like seeing-eye-dogs and other support animals that are trained to perform a tasks, pets also offer companionship and comfort. There are many studies on the effect of pet ownership, some even linking it to improved overall heart health.

Many people have felt, and continue to desire, the emotional and health benefits that these pets bring to their lives. While majority of pet owning residents find these benefits through small dogs and cats, some own fish, birds, and hedgehogs. This variety in pets is what contributes to the large economic presence this demographic has. In 2018 pet owners spent over $72 Billion on food, supplies, veterinary care, and purchasing of animals. In 2019 this number is estimated to be closer to $75 Billion!

In a 2014 survey, 72% of renters said they were pet owners. This draws the conclusion that almost three quarters of your renters draw some sort of relationship and comfort from animals within home which is now your community. With so many pet owning residents in the industry, catering to that demographic is more important than ever before. The PooPrints program is a beneficial way to do just that.

Our program not only ensures that your property value is upheld and that your pet owners are responsible but, it also serves those residents as well. We offer multiple perks like a $50 Rover.com credit, access to the BioPet LifePlan which is a comprehensive life tool for pet health data, and a coupon with Chewy.com! A clean and safe environment is what all fur parents want for their animals and our program gives them that peace of mind. Show your pet owning resident and all renters that you care about the wellness of their animal with the PooPrints program as an amenity!