Irresponsible dog owners beware: Pick up after your furry friend or face a hefty fine.
That’s at least the case in one Italian province, according to the Guardian.
Dog owners in Bolzano are now being ordered to submit their dog’s DNA so that authorities can match them up with any feces left on city streets.
As required by law, owners are required to pay for the DNA tests, which cost about $70, so that that evidence can be collected as part of a large dog doodoo database.
Fines for failure to pick up after Fido range from $315 to a whopping $1,100 (the equivalent in Euros, of course). Additional fines exist for owners who neglect to get their dogs registered.
Bolzano is located in the mountainous Trentino-Alto Adige region of North Italy and is home to some 45,000 dogs, the Guardian says.
Dog owners had a New Year’s Day deadline and fines were supposed to start being levied in March. But so far, only 5,000 samples have been compiled, the publication says, citing Italian media.
Responsible dog owners say it’s unfair that they have to pay to get their dog registered and others have voiced concerns about stray dogs and tourists making a mess of the streets with no repercussions.
Others have questioned how expansive and expensive a program like this could be and whether or not it’s the best use of the government’s time.
Local government officials say the program will have other uses like identifying animals that have attacked other animals or people, or informing owners if their pets have been killed in traffic collisions.
Despite those that say the new law stinks, that same Italian official claimed other unnamed regions are considering similar measures.