City Licensing Program

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PET DNA IDENTIFICATION & REGISTRATION CITY ORDINANCE PROPOSAL

P.E.T. CSI® proposes that all City Council’s amend and approve pet identification & registration via DNA cheek swab as the official Pet Identification & Registration method within every city.

P.E.T. CSI® Licensed Agent Program has two options to implement and enforce. P.E.T. CSI® may be implemented in high populated pet communities and high-need areas through a targeted area wide registration process. The second implementation option allows code compliance officers to test fecal waste found in public areas against suspected pet(s) keeping cost low and enforcement high.

Through the P.E.T. CSI® Licensed Agent Program our forensic division developed a system that can overcome problems commonly encountered with feces testing to make sure that your results are accurate, reproducible, and can hold up in court. We are the 1st and only system developed and maintained by a certified and accredited veterinary DNA genetic laboratory with approvals in city, state and federal courts.

Understanding the city council has been presented with the basics of the program, we would like to address the positive impact of Pet DNA Identification & Registration in specifically related to public health, safety, and environmental sanitation. In this white paper we also present:

P.E.T. CSI® would like to present city councils globally, with some basic points to consider about the implementation of Pet DNA Identification & Registration.  We would also like to address the positive impacts specifically related to public health, safety, and environmental sanitation. 

“Pick It Up Today or Drink It Tomorrow”

Our laboratory was one of the first dedicated to animal DNA profiling. Our laboratory partners are accredited by the prestigious American Society of Crime Lab Directors because we conduct animal-related forensic tests as rigorously as any lab dealing with human DNA.

  1. Cost-Savings and Realistic Revenues for the City
  2. Simple Yet Effective Implementation Options
  3. Compliance Monitoring Plan
  4. Benefits of Certifications & Accreditation’s

 

The P.E.T. Waste Problem

In the last 30 years, the pet population has doubled as more people seek the companionship of a pet. When urban metro areas boom, so booms the local pet population. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Tampa and Dallas have run public outreach campaigns over the past five years. Similar initiatives have begun within this past year in Mexico City, Prague, and Sydney. Independent School Districts (ISD) can circulate the “PetPoop Initiative” by Kirk Weisler, a fun and educational story promoting pet responsibility in children.

Clearly pet waste is no longer seen as an inevitable annoyance, it is globally recognized as a problem that can be managed through technology. With up to 40% of pet waste left un-scooped, the problem ranks at #6 on America’s Top Gripes list, according to a January 2010 Consumer Reports survey. The greater impact, however, occurs when the droppings wash into lakes, rivers, and streams, bringing a host of bacteria with them. “Pick it up today, or Drink it Tomorrow.”

 

Health and Safety

Just one pile of pet waste contains over 3 billion fecal coliform bacteria, including E.coli and Salmonella. These bacteria constitute a non-point source pollutant which enters the water supply through several means, including storm water run-off. Fecal coliform presence in drinking water isa public health concern because of the potential for disease-causing strains of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Waterborne disease from these microbes often results in flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea. In rare instances the fecal coliform E. coli has caused severe illness and death.

Other pathogens from pet waste (including roundworms and their eggs) can survive in the soil for several years. These pathogens pose a health hazard as they transfer to other pets who walk by, and just as shocking, transfer to humans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), waste is one vehicle from which zoonotic diseases pass from pets to humans. While children are the most susceptible, anyone who is gardening, playing sports, or walking barefoot may be at risk of coming into contact with contaminated soil, parasite eggs, and other pathogens.

P.E.T. CSI® and its partners are the first laboratory dedicated to animal DNA profiling. It’s accredited by the prestigious American Society of Crime Lab Directors because we conduct animal-related forensic tests as rigorously as any lab dealing with human DNA.

Simply put, we use DNA from animals to help solve a variety of crimes — from burglary and animal abuse to sexual assault and murder. They analyze crime scene evidence that, decades ago, might have been overlooked by detectives. Today, investigators automatically collect any animal fur or hairs, feces, urine stains and tissue samples found at a crime scene. They also take mouth swabs from pets after they defend their owners against attackers. Having access to this technology makes P.E.T. CSI® the only firm in the world that can provide this level of safety to pet owners.

As part of one of the largest animal DNA testing laboratories in the world, P.E.T. CSI® Forensics Laboratories provides forensic DNA testing services to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well as to the general public.

 

 Animals can be the Victim

  • Animal cruelty

  • Identifying the remains of a lost pet

  • Theft of an animal

 

Animals can be the Perpetrator

  • Identification of an animal involved in an attack on a person or other animal i.e. Dog Bite Cases

  • Identification of an unrestrained animal causing an accident

  • Identification of an animal responsible for property damage

 

Animals can be the Witness

  • Animal DNA can link a suspect with a crime scene or victim. Transfer of DNA from hair, saliva, blood, urine, or feces can occur during the commission of a crime—from the victim’s pet to the suspect or crime scene, and from the suspect’s pet to the victim or crime scene.

 

Environmental Impact

Studies conducted throughout the US have shown that 20% of fecal coliform bacteria found in contaminated water can be traced back to pets. Bacteria, nitrates, and phosphorus washed into water from feces provide ample nutrients for algae and phytoplankton “blooms” – a process called eutrophication. The growing plant biomass depletes the water of oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia, which causes large fish kills and harms other wildlife.

In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named pet waste as a non-point source pollutant, the same category as oil and toxic chemicals. The EPA placed pet waste management at the top of their guidelines for Pollution Prevention: Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations. They estimate that a 10-20 mile watershed can be closed from just 1 to 2 days worth of droppings from a 50 to 100-pet community. In addition, pet waste has been implicated in the closings of several swimming, fishing, and recreational areas in lakes and rivers throughout the country.

Pet DNA Identification & Registration offers protection to all residents, pet owners and non-pet owners alike, from these health and environmental hazards associated with pet waste.

 

Cost-Savings Program

Ask yourself the following six questions:

  1. How many city pets are currently registered?

  2. How many people adopt, buy or relocate to the city with a pet yearly?

  3. How many waste violation fines are currently issued?

  4. Do you currently have a method to catch violators and prosecute?

  5. How much is spent on city-wide landscape, maintenance and signage?

  6. How much is spent on city-wide water treatment and sanitation?

 

We assume the city’s priority will be to lower costs associated with Question 5-6, rather than generate revenues associated with Questions 1, 2, 3 and 4. In our experience, P.E.T. CSI® communities across the country and several foreign countries report maintenance costs are cut in half when using this program. Your current cost to maintain city clean water and green parks/public areas far exceeds the cost to implement DNA registration for pet waste control. will reduce spend on water treatment and public landscaping, which in turn will fully cover the program. In this way P.E.T. CSI® is no-cost, creating no additional burden on taxpayers.

As pets register and pet owners clean up, we know that waste is reduced by 75-100% in communities and public areas. This reduces the number of pet waste offenses that occur, and reduces the amount of compliance monitoring resources needed over time.

 

City Revenues

As an example a city the size of Dallas, Texas is estimated to have a pet population of over 280,000 pets. Chapter 7 of the City Ordinance, Section 7-4.8, requires pet owners to remove pet waste in public and private areas in a sanitary fashion. Violators may be reported to the city by calling 3-1-1, and citations may be issued if an Animal Services Officer witnesses the offense. This approach is impractical and unenforceable, leaving an estimated 7.72 million pounds of pet waste in Dallas annually.

Can revenue be generated for the City of Dallas through DNA pet registration and P.E.T. CSI® waste enforcement? Yes. We have found that city fines should be raised above $300 to be an effective deterrent, and pet registration fees should cover DNA processing and administrative costs. Based on our experiences throughout the country, we expect a city average of 90% pet registration upon full implementation, with 10% new registrations occurring annually as previously-registered pets move or die. The city can also expect an average of 10% waste ordinance fines will be handed out annually. Therefore, we believe the following figures are realistically achievable:

 

Area of Implementation

Pet Pop.

Registrations*

Waste Fines*

Total Revenue

Single zip code (75204)

6,500

$292,500

$130,000

$442,500

Downtown, Uptown, Turtle Creek

15,000

$675,000

$300,000

$975,000

City of

280,000

$12,600,000

$5,600,00

$18,200,000

* can expect waste fines to occur annually, and 10% new registrations annually.

 

However, P.E.T. CSI® is NOT a tax or a penalty on pet owning constituents. We recommend that cities aim to create a cleaner, greener, healthier living environment for all citizens that in-turn reduces costs for the city and pet owners, while improving quality of life for all citizens and their pets. We further recommend that a portion registration fees collected should be allocated to building and maintaining pet parks and pet related causes such as RedCross 4 Rover (blood drive for pets). This bolsters acceptance for the new registration process.

 

Effective Implementation

P.E.T. CSI® DNA Identification & Registration has been implemented in apartments, condos, managed communities, and pet parks throughout the US states and in several foreign countries. We have experience overcoming obstacles of pet registration on a large scale, and work with clients to establish and carry out a plan that fits their needs.

Registration occurs via a simple, non-invasive Cheek Swab. Swabs can be collected by several methods to best suit the city’s needs, including:

  • Appointment with trained P.E.T. CSI® staff.

  • Animal Services and point-of-adoption pet shelter.

  • Upon receiving annual vaccine boosters at the veterinarian.

  • During Pet Days hosted by P.E.T. CSI® Animal Services Officers.

  • Test poop found by Code Compliance Officers first, then against suspected violators.

  • Regulate a property management ordnance for properties with 50 or more pets.

 

Swabs are mailed to P.E.T. CSI® for analysis where a genetic profile is created and stored in the PET DNA REGISTRY. City officials are given administrative access to PET DNA Registry. In addition, every pet owner who registers their pet is given free access store registration and vaccine records online. Their pet is also given a unique QR Code Identification Tag that has the same functionality of a micro-chip for lost and found pets. It is however non-invasive and cost effective to implement this multifunctional DNA system.

Each registered pet will then receive a unique P.E.T. CSI® QR Code Identification Tag linking that pet’s profile. This tag can be a symbol to police officers, code compliance officers, Animal Services Officers and citizens, and to other pet owners, that the pet is indeed registered. This tag is further peace-of-mind for the general public that the pet has been properly registered and vaccinated with the ability to check the most update records.

 

Pilot Program Area

Recognizing that 100% registration is unlikely at the out-set, we ask the city to set a measurable implementation goal. Would your city like to see 50% registration by end of year 1? Would your city like to see a 10% reduction in fecal coliform and associated water sanitation costs? Answers to these questions will drive the method of implementation and sufficient time-period allowed for compliance. Keep in mind you have 2 options in implementation. You may use the option of becoming a Licensed Agent and only test suspected pets as potential code compliance violators with the only certificated court approved pet DNA analysis system of this kind.

To demonstrate program effectiveness in a controlled area, further recommend targets areas of highest need for a 6 month pilot program:

  • Public parks, walking trails, pet runs (ordinance states pets cannot enter premises unless registered with DNA, as evident by the P.E.T. CSI® tag).

  • Multifamily dwellings (ordinance states that housing with > 10 pets must have pets DNA registered and maintain sanitary conditions in the multiunit housing).

  • All pet owners in defined geographic boundary (ordinance states that all pet owners within certain Zip Codes that represent high pet population areas).

 

Compliance Monitoring

Waste violations will be largely self-reported by citizens, via a dedicated P.E.T. CSI® hotline or the existing 3-1-1 Animal Services violation report line. Trained staff members from either organization may be dispatched to collect the waste sample and submit for matching.

A portion of the fees collected from registration and fines can be allocated to the Department of Code Compliance in order to fund the dispatch/collection service, or the city may simply contract P.E.T. CSI® to collect all samples and monitor pet waste ordinance compliance. This strategy will keep the program cost-neutral for the city.

All match results from collected waste samples will be delivered city Dept. of Code Compliance or other appropriate division in order to issue violation fines and collect payments. Because registration is a strong detent, pet owners clean up in communities and public areas. This reduces the number of pet waste offenses that occur, and reduces the amount of compliance monitoring resources needed over time.

 

Certifications & Accreditation’s

P.E.T. CSI® & University of California/Veterinary Genetic Laboratory are internationally recognized for their expertise of animal parentage verification, DNA identification, forensics services, and genetic disease testing. Our Veterinary Genetic Laboratory is recognized as the first accredited crime lab dedicated to animal DNA profiling under the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors ASCLD/LAB-International program. We are also the only domestic animal DNA testing laboratory to be accredited by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Accreditation assures our clients that we are committed to a rigorous quality program that promotes acceptance of our test results. As part of one of the largest animal DNA testing laboratories in the world, we provide forensic DNA testing service to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies assisting with stopping puppy mills and dog fighting. We assist pet owners with providing DNA information that may extend the life and improve the health of your pet through preventive measures that DNA testing may reveal. We also assist municipalities and private parks, property managers and other managed communities with a permanent, “Set It & Forget It” solution to pet waste management. Although feces is not an ideal source for DNA profiling, our forensic division developed and system that can overcome problems commonly encountered with feces testing to make sure that your results are accurate, reproducible, and can hold up in court. Through our certified and accredited partners our Pet DNA Excrement Testing system is the 1st and only system validated and developed with these accolades that has been accepted by a court of law.

 

In-conclusion

Approving pet identification and registration via DNA is nothing short of a win-win for all residents and the city as a whole. Position your city as the CLEANEST pet-friendly city in America and attract even more publicity and tourism to your metro area. Not only does pet DNA identification and registration immediately address the pet waste problem, bringing cost savings to the city, there are a host of downstream tailwinds that DNA registration can accomplish.

 

Pet DNA identification and registration will effectively put a STOP to puppy mills and improper breeding tactics in your city. This is accomplished in two major ways. First, puppies that are registered via DNA will have their health, vaccines, and proper breeding verified to ensure no maltreatment. Second, your city may someday introduce a new ordinance barring pets bought or sold without prior registration. This will force out poor breeding practices and eliminate the market for puppy mill breeders, who would not be allowed to sell their puppies within the city.

Animal DNA identification and registration, including livestock animals, has the potential to drastically improve the way tainted meat and other food recalls are handled. Virtually any contaminant in the meat supply can be traced back to an individual processing plant and even individual animal through its DNA. Rapid identification is the key to controlling the spread of the contaminant and early dissemination of safety information to the public. We also provide several meat DNA test for public use as well.

We propose your City Council take action today. Begin registering pet DNA with the goal of reducing pet waste, become a Licensed Agent and pilot the program in a measurable area or test suspect violators with our court approved system, and you will set the tone for future advancements in public health, safety, and environmental sanitation. Contact P.E.T. CSI® today at info@petcsi.com or call us at 855.693.3927 to get started.