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Dog Database to Limit Droppings

By developing a database of dog DNA linked to the dogs' owners, Naples hopes to eliminate dog waste from its sidewalks, the New York Times reports.

"Now, when I walk the streets, the presences have greatly diminished," says Captain Enrico Del Gaudio from the Municipal Police, referring to droppings. "Before, it was like an obstacle course. Every day, a child would walk into school with a little gift under her shoe."

As part of a pilot program, which is costing upwards of $27,000, dogs from the Vomero neighborhood and nearby Arenella are going in for blood tests. Then when a pile of droppings is found, it can be collected, tested and traced back to the pooch's owner, who may receive a fine of up to 500 euros, or about $685.

Apartment complexes and condos in the US have tried similar approaches, but cities, the Times says, have more often turned to mailing the offending droppings back to owners, public shaming, or bribery with free Wi-Fi in parks to encourage people to clean up after their pets.

A number of Naples residents are pleased with the crackdown, but others say city funds could be better spent, such as on a better sewer system or tackling organized crime.