Managing Pet Waste

September 2023

One of the big issues in high-rise communities is how to deal with pet waste.  While pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and to properly dispose of the waste, many fail to do so.  They find it easier to leave pet waste behind, or bag but not properly dispose of it.

More than 60 percent of high-rise residents own a pet according to available data.

Unscooped pet waste is a health hazard to pets and people.  It contains pathogens that can harm people and pets in close proximity.  Aesthetically, it detracts from the community and reduces property values.

Communities establish rules and procedures pet owners are expected to follow for dealing with their pet’s waste.  Some communities choose to restrict pets to certain areas of a building or property.  They may provide pet waste stations and stock with pet waste bags.  Pet owners who fail to properly deal with their pet’s waste can be required to pay for cleaning and repair of any damage that has been caused.  This requires that problem pet owners be identified.  Video cameras can be expensive and they only cover areas where installed.

Pet-friendly communities that balance the needs of pet- and non-pet-owners can implement a more economical and comprehensive long-term solution.  Require that all pets are registered with the management office, and that each owner provide a mouth swab DNA sample of their pet. This DNA information is stored and compared against unscooped pet waste found on the property to identify the pet owner.  Identified individuals who may be required to pay for testing, cleaning and repair costs are unlikely to repeat their infraction a second time.

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