Meg Hathaway Retinger

Class of 1976

Meg Hathaway Retinger graduated from Emory & Henry in 1976 with a plan to teach elementary school. But when she was faced with a crowded field of educators, and too few job openings, she headed in a different direction.

She began by doing computer work in an industry that created “bug zappers” and electric cattle fencing. Eventually she segued into a company that did testing to see if cattle had been properly inseminated for breeding. And now….well…now she finds herself elbow deep in dog poop.

Meg is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Bio Pet Laboratories in Knoxville. The main component of their business is a program called PooPrints®; evaluating DNA in dog poop so that apartment complexes know which tenants are not picking up after their pets. Dog owners swab the cheeks of their dogs, and the apartment landlords send the swabs to Bio Pet to be registered in a database –DNA World Pet Registry. If a pile of poop is found where it shouldn’t be, it can be collected and sent to Bio Pet to be matched up with the dog owner – or, as Meg calls that person, “The Poopetrator.”

Bio Pet is now serving clients all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. They receive as many as 2000 swabs a day, and receive 200 poop samples a day.

Meg says the two biggest issues apartment complexes deal with are parking and dog waste. And in addition to being unsightly, it is also a huge environmental issue as it affects the water runoff and eventually the regional watersheds. “People think that dog poop is just fertilizer, but because of what dogs eat, their poop has more bacteria than human waste.”

She says her E&H education taught her how to learn – and instilled a desire to learn. So when her initial career plans got sidetracked, she was flexible and found a new way to apply her degree.

In short, Meg knows her poop.

Extracurricular Activities:

Alpha Beta Chi