With all due respect to talk show host Maury Povich, it’s easy to imagine this dramatic scenario next month at a tony apartment complex in North Raleigh:

Picture the DNA results have arrived, showing whether Megan, the owner of 10-month-old toy poodle Ebby, ignored the steaming heap of dog poop that the maintenance worker stepped in near the entrance of the apartment office.

Megan is adamant the noxious mess did NOT belong to her little Ebby.

“Look at them, big logs!” Megan might cry in protest at the photo of dog waste shown to her. “That mess probably belongs to Fred, that old-ass Great Dane that lives next door. Hmph! I’m 150 percent sure that poop does not belong to my sweet little Ebby!”

The apartment manager listens quietly, before pulling a sheet out of a manila envelope.

“The DNA results are in,” the manager would intone. “And it shows the pile of poop that was not picked up last week that the maintenance man stepped does indeed belongs to Ebby.”

Sounds far-fetched. But officials at the posh Meridian at Sutton Square apartment complex just announced that the community is implementing a doggone DNA testing program known as “PooPrints” to identify and penalize residents who fail to scoop up their dogs’ poop.

A letter sent out on Wednesday to Sutton Square residents informed them that that the complex is starting a dog shit detection program “due to a small percentage of residents that have not been using the provided pet stations to pick up after their dogs.”

Maintenance workers will be responsible for collecting the unattended piles, Kassidy Eaton, an employee at the complex, told the INDY on Thursday.

The letter states that as a consequence of dog owners ignoring their pets’ noxious piles, starting on Monday, “every dog owner must bring their dog(s) to the office to provide us with a DNA sample.”

The collection of DNA samples from each dog must be received by February 28, the letter states.

Eaton said testing of abandoned poop piles will begin around March 15.

The sumptuous complex rents luxury apartments and lofts in one of the city’s most affluent areas, where left-behind mounds of dog shit—skunks that don’t move—are not to be suffered lightly.

According to its website, the one, two and three-bedroom dwellings “feature top of the market elements,” including granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, nine-to-18 foot ceilings, a “ceramic subway tile backsplash,” kitchen islands, breakfast bars, “a spa-like bathroom,” and a “garden tub.”

Step outside and there’s a saltwater swimming pool, “outdoor grilling pavilions,” a two-story fitness center, an activities room with pool tables, and a self-serve barista bar.

With all of those amenities, along with a bundle of retailers and restaurants within easy walking distance, the last thing residents need to worry about while floating from one wonderful on-the-premises moment to the next is stepping into a pile of doggy doo.

“Bring your dog to the office where you will swab your pet with the provided kit,” the letter cheerfully adds. “We will submit the DNA sample at which time a Registry will be created at BioPet Vet Lab.”

According to the lab’s PooPrints website, the company’s goal is to increase responsible pet ownership through education, while decreasing “the environmental impact of dog waste.”

The dog waste management company, which bills itself as “the DNA solution for dog waste,” reports that it has contracted with more than 5,000 communities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

PooPrints officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.

It may be only a small percentage of dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pets, but the apartment complex’s management is serious about this shitty issue. 

PooPrints’s website notes its laboratory “adheres to FBI protocol, guaranteeing you accurate results and rapid processing.”

What a relief.

The letter warns that “any feces found on the property will be checked for DNA and the pet owner will be fined $200-$300 per occurrence.”

Worse, the letter states that a tenant who fails to pay the fine may be kicked out of their home.

Moreover, tenants who fail to register their pets by  February 28 will be fined $150 and also risk termination of their rental agreements.

The INDY could not reach Sutton Square tenants Thursday, but generally speaking, reaction on social media to PooPrints has been a mixed bag.

“It costs properties less to do our program in the long run plus it ensures that you won’t step in unscooped poo,” read a Twitter post from @pooprints.

 “Incredibly funny, unbearably sad,” another post reads.

“You people are diseased,” says another.

The letter also instructs the dog owners to not feed their pets for at least an hour before the appointment.

If Sutton Square residents have more than one dog, they must separate the animals for more than an hour before testing “to avoid cross contamination of DNA.”

“This means you will need to make one appointment per dog,” the letter adds.

The letter closes with assurances that all of the dogs at the apartment complex are loved. Similar   sentiments were not expressed for tenants who fail to pick up their dog’s funky poop.

Follow Durham Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald on Twitter or send an email to tmcdonald@indyweek.com.

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