Can DNA tracing extend to littering humans, too?

A pet waste station at Devon Wood in Braintree.

Colm O’Molloy for the Boston Globe/file

A pet waste station at Devon Wood in Braintree.

As a dog owner, I appreciate the salient points of your story (“Your dog did it,” Aug. 25). However, while I hold myself responsible for managing Spunky’s biodegradable waste in an environment where thousands of birds, squirrels and other rodents, deer, coyotes, and even bobcats are contributing their fecal offerings to the areas where my canine friend and I walk, I am puzzled by the logic of wrapping each stool in plastic to live in eternity in a landfill.

Meanwhile, can we extend the DNA technology to the dozens of inorganic objects Spunky and I find on our walks: hundreds of plastic bottles, beer and soda cans, T-shirts, shoes, bras, underpants, used condoms, McDonald’s/Starbucks/Dunkin’ Donuts Styrofoam, yards of unreeled cassettes, tires, nuts and bolts and bushings, gloves and hats, mattresses, and bags, bags, bags, bags, bags amongst regular strews of cigarette butts? Could all these be traced back to their owners, please, before they blow into the great Pacific gyre?


To non-dog owners: I’m sorry if you sometimes have to wipe your shoe or smell a bit of dog funk. Meanwhile, tuck one of those bags in your pocket or purse and clean up your waste when you are out walking.

Chris King


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