Doggie doo DNA detectives

A few months ago, a particularly egregious neighbor dog left a gift on our lawn -- while my fascinated girls watched out the window. Naturally, I ran outside, shooed off the dog, used a plastic bag to pick up the steaming pile, and knocked on the neighbors' door. I think I interrupted the neighbor kids from their Playstation or something; in any event, the visits from the big brown dog abated for a while.

Now, Hsien-Hsien Lei tells me that technology may help with future dog-related problems:

Perhaps the animal control officers in Port Phillip, Australia would be able to help me out. They're being provided DNA kits for cases where a dog has attacked a human or a pet. They'll be collecting DNA evidence from fur, saliva, blood, and excrement. In 2004, the first Australian animal mauling case to use DNA evidence resulted in two dogs being destroyed for killing a Pomeranian. Their owner was fined $7,244.

Yes, it sounds more serious when you think of attacks or bites. No, I don't suppose too many people will spring for a DNA test on a fecal sample. But those poochie pyramids make me pretty irate -- and we have a toddler running around the yard who treats the local pine cones and rocks like a tasting bar!

Before we knew where our dog pest lives, we had to do the Nancy Drew thing to find out -- we just followed it one day. But now, a less spry person with a little cash to spare could just stock up on some tissue collection darts and set up a blind.

Oh, so what? That's not how you hunt dogs?