Friday, June 19, 2009

Entrepreneur alert (1)

There’s no end to the products and services available for companion animals, especially cats and dogs. The reported $45 billion annually that Americans spend on their pets includes big box stores filled with everything a pet might desire and much more . . . ever-expanding food , toy and dress options . . . country club boarding facilities . . . come-to-your-home groomers in their own fitted-out vans . . . and recently, according to the NYTimes (6-7-09) people who hire on as “dog waste removers,” a.k.a. poop collectors.

These entrepreneurs come relatively cheap – typically scheduling twice-weekly stops and taking the waste with them. They also come w/ catchy names: When Doody Calls, Scoopy Doo, Poop Patrol. People quoted in the story say they’ve given up other things in this rough economy, but not their pet waste removers.

The service is particularly in demand among “super busy, families with children who play in the yard and homeowner associations with common green space or dog runs.” Many of the services claim to be guardians of the environment because they truck off material that “can carry bacteria and parasites that cause disease and contaminate waterways.”

And dogs aren't the only ones picked up after. Some scoopers also handle cat, goose and deer waste. It all goes into plastic (environmentally UNfriendly, right?) or biodegradable bags that then go into the customer’s trash, or to local landfills or incinerators.

Next time: an entrepreneurial idea ready for the taking!

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