Kay Flynn was a bit annoyed when she had to pony up more than $300 for a dog tag for her little Joey before she could move in at the Affinity apartment complex in Eagan.

It turns out that the tag — meant to hold owners accountable for picking up what pets leave behind — was all police had and needed to reunite Flynn with a purse she lost with jewelry and a decent amount of money inside.

Flynn and the building's other pet owners are required to have their animals' DNA collected and registered with the Tennessee-based company PooPrints. Then, if there is any unattended pet poop left on the building's grounds, it can be tested and traced back through the registry to the proper resident, who then must pay fines starting at $350 for failing to pick up the poop.

Flynn said she's already been nicked once this summer for failing to clean up after Joey, her attention-craving Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, following a late-night walk.

But her disdain for the tag soon turned to appreciation.

Without it, Flynn, 74, said, "I never would have gotten my money and my jewelry back."

Flynn lost her purse on Aug. 3, leaving it inside a Holiday gas station just off Hwy. 77 and unable to recall where she might have left it.

Someone turned the purse over two days later to police, who saw it had no identifying information inside — other than the dog tag.

Police contacted the company associated with the website printed on the tag. The serial number etched into the little piece of silver metal quickly identified Flynn as the purse's owner.

Flynn now has her purse and can happily report that "everything was there," every last bit of the $150 it held and all of the jewelry.

Eagan police couldn't help but unleash one quip on Facebook about how the case was cracked, writing, "Although an unconventional way to find an owner, this K-9 did his doody to help officers solve the case."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482