We at Dirty Work Pooper Scooper Service know who really rules the house!
If you need help putting pet waste in its place, call Atlanta’s Pet Waste Pros!
If you indulge your beloved dog with occasional peanut butter, please be aware of an increasingly common artificial sweetener called Xylitol.
Xylitol is very toxic to dogs even in small quantities.
“Ingestion of as little as 0.1 gram (g) of xylitol per kilogram (kg) of body weight (0.1 g/kg) can cause a rapid and dangerous drop in a dog’s blood sugar (a condition called “hypoglycemia”). Hypoglycemia can show as staggering, appearing disoriented, collapse, weakness, and seizures. Just slightly more than that, approx. 0.5 g/kg xylitol ingestion, can lead to debilitating, and sadly often deadly, destruction of a dog’s liver cells.”
For an extensive list of peanut butter and other products that contain Xylitol please visit Preventative Vet.
And as always, please read those ingredients and make certain your dog 100% cannot gain access to any product with the sweetener or products with Xylitol.
Dirty Work Pet Services, LLC are not veterinarians. All information is issued in the spirit of helping our beloved pets and their families. Please consult your vet with any questions or concerns. IF YOUR DOG HAS INGESTED XYLITOL YOU SHOULD SEEK EMERGENCY CARE.
An Inside Scoop On Running A Professional Dog Poop Scooping Business
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it! We talk to a professional dog Pooper Scooper to get the “scoop” on this crappy, but necessary job.
Did you know that International Pooper Scooper Week runs from April 1 to 7… and no, this ISN’T an April Fool’s joke. It’s for real, and it’s a week that I can get behind (no pun intended). It’s the right time of year to run this educational campaign; the snow is melting, revealing a winter’s worth of unclaimed dog droppings. I don’t get how dog owners can think that a layer of snow would somehow make this pile of poop somehow disappear.
And I’m not the only one who’s sick of this crap. Because I’m the editor of a pet site and a pet parent, irate neighbors always come to me with their issues about dog waste left on their lawn. It’s not just an eye sore, but it’s a potential health risk. Dogs and humans step in the poop and carry it into the house. You may not be able to see them, but that poop contains parasites that can get the whole family sick. But if these sickly facts and sights don’t persuade you to pick up your dog’s poop, what are you going to do?
You call the dog poop professionals.
Yep, this is a legitimate business, one that’s been successful for Erin Erman, CPO (that’s Chief Poop Officer) of Dirty Work Pooper Scooper Service in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve never met a pro-poop picker, so as you can imagine, I had a few important questions (at least to me) to ask her. Inquiring minds need to know!
PG: How did you get the idea of a poop scooping business?
Erin: I was very stressed out and disillusioned by my job in the tech industry. Knowing I was an animal lover and always liked being outdoors, my step-mother jokingly told me of a story she had read in the National Enquirer at her hairdressers about a woman that was making her living as a Professional Pooper Scooper. I laughed but then quickly thought, “Hey, that’s a pretty good idea!” And a new Atlanta business was born in 1998.
PG: What do people say when you tell them what you do for a living? Do they ask if you washed your hands before shaking?
Erin: Mostly they smile or laugh. We do get some people that look down their noses at us for it, but dog poop doesn’t clean itself! We actually had a neighbor of a client stand out on his deck and tease us while we worked – a couple weeks later, he asked for a card and signed up himself. Once people get used to the idea, it starts sounding pretty good to them.
PG: How many people work for you? How do you recruit for the position of “Professional Pooper Scooper?” (Side note: Do they wear a shirt with Professional Pooper Scooper on it – if so, I really want one!)
Erin: The number varies, but we typically have 5-8 people in the field at any given time. We do have Dirty Work shirts and caps; we can’t have unidentified people walking around backyards after all – and do we get some comments when we stop for gas and errands. Some people think we are doing some sort of prank or joke.
People have never asked for a shirt, but they love showing others our business card. (It’s a dog on a toilet that says, “Until then, call us.”)
PG: What’s your funniest dog poop-related story?
Erin: We’ve had a few fabled incidents. One time a dog ate a child’s toy and when we went to clean the yard, we saw two big plastic white eyeballs staring up at us from a pile of waste. It actually inspired one of our cartoon logos that we frequently use.
Another time a very shamed-sounding man called and requested us to come out ASAP. His wife had been asking him over and over to pooper scoop the yard before her visiting family arrived. He didn’t get around to it and just as soon as his mother-in-law stepped out in the yard to play with the grandkids, she slipped in some poo, fell and broke her arm. If they would have had a doghouse he certainly would have been in it.
PG: Other than poop, what other interesting things have you found in your scooping expeditions? What did you do with them?
Erin: Chewed up dollar bills used to be pretty common, but perhaps people don’t carry as much cash now because we don’t really experience that one any longer. But we’ve seen it all: Legos, a Barbie shoe, lots of gift wrapping paper, aluminum foil – you name it.
We did have a client ask to be on the lookout for a valued family ring. We would have left that one double bagged by their door – the separating from the waste would have definitely been up to them!
Once we walked into a client’s backyard and had to call her with the bad news that her 2 Labs had completely pulled the downspouts and parts of the attached gutters right off the back of her house.
PG: What kind of people are the worst poop offenders, in your opinion? For example – is age, income or where they live an indicator of how vigilant they are about picking up their dog’s poop?
Erin: There is one thing we have learned in all our research and years in business: no matter what part of the country, age, marital status and so on, a certain percentage of the population will never, ever pick up after their dog. The stats are that 40 percent of people don’t scoop the poop, but anecdotally, we believe the number is actually higher than that.
And especially these days, free time is in such short supply for people that the last thing they want to do when they finally have a moment is to go down in their yard and deal with smelly dog mess. We keep a price point that makes us scooping for them an attractive alternative.
PG: Who hires you? Is it pet parents, the city of Atlanta, special events, etc.?
Erin: Our clients are a mix of residential single-family homes, multi-family communities (apartments, condos, etc), Home Owners Associations, and parks and dog parks. We also get people giving our service as a gift to families with a new baby or people that travel frequently and that sort of thing. And many spouses hire us as a “hint, hint” to the other spouse!
PG: What tools do you use to pick up the poop? Do you employ bags, shovel, vacuum, hazmat suits, etc.?
Erin: We have a few different tools of the trade. We mostly modify janitorial supplies such as lobby pans and long handled spades and also use things like push brooms to scrub decks and patios if a pup left a little ‘present’ on a solid surface. We use large landscape garden style sprayers to disinfect our tools and footwear between each property.
PG: How much poop (in weight/pounds) would you say you pick up in an average year?
Erin: I cannot even imagine how many thousands of pounds we pick up from Atlanta properties each year, but all our Pooper Scoopers have pretty good biceps, that’s for sure.
Each Scooper Tech will have picked up a minimum of 4-5 large leaf bags of dog waste each and every day. We pick up a lot of poop!
PG: Where does the dog poop you collect go?
Erin: At this time the best place for it is still bagged and in the landfill. It’s what the Department of Agriculture recommends, and we comply. Landfills have special liners that are designed to handle this sort of waste, cat litter, dirty diapers, etc. Some companies are starting to work on commercial composting, but it is a highly precise process that includes extended exposure to 140-degree temperatures to kill things like E. coli and Salmonella. It isn’t yet a practical alternative, but hopefully soon. Even commercial yard waste processors do not currently compost waste at temperatures sufficient to kill many pathogens in pet waste.
PG: Is there a slow poop season, or do you pick up all year long?
It always surprises people, but summer is our slowest season. We believe it’s because people are traveling and having some good summer fun. The other seasons of the year require them to stay closer to home with their families and pets. We scoop the poop rain or shine, hot or cold.
Erin: We read that as a marketing tip and gave it a try, but boy, oh boy… people didn’t like that at all. Even though we were smiling and being totally upbeat about it, I guess perhaps they felt embarrassed by being “caught.” So now we just smile and say hello. Sometimes the conversation about what we “doo” organically comes about, but if not, we just carry on.
PG: Why do you think it’s necessary to have an official Pooper Scooper week?
Erin: Most people think dog waste is just something they don’t want to step in. They have no idea that it is also an EPA designated environmental pollutant and is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills. Major cities and also states like Maryland have initiated “Pick up the Poop” campaigns because of the dog waste storm water pollution they are experiencing (ammonia increases in the water that kill fish, algae blooms that deprive the water from oxygen and so forth).
That’s not to mention that dog feces carries harmful parasites and pathogens and zoonotic diseases that make people sick as well as other animals.
Whether a person does it themselves or hires a service, no one should leave poop behind. Out of sight is not out of mind in this case.
PG: What advice/tips would you offer someone looking to open a poop scooping business of their own?
Erin: Be patient and don’t give up your day job. It took us years to establish routes with clients near one another and to start to turn a profit. Luckily, I am very stubborn so not succeeding wasn’t an option!
- There are many workable solutions to keeping your backyard, park or property clean such as hiring a pet waste removal service.
- Dirty Work Pet Waste Removal has been metro-Atlanta’s professional pooper scooper service since 1998. Contact us today for your free quote: 404-876-9333
Likewise, dog feces is full of bacteria and pathogens; using it as fertilizer or compost, especially on edible gardens, poses serious potential health risks and is discouraged by the CDC:
- “Composting and burial do not kill hazardous pathogens that may be in the pet waste and can pollute water. Landfills are designed to safely handle substances such as dog waste, cat litter and dirty diapers. Yards are not. Most home compost piles don’t reach temperatures sufficient to kill many hazardous pathogens.
- Extended exposure at 140-degree temperatures is required to kill E. coli and salmonella.
- Giardia can survive temperature extremes, chlorination and drying. Cryptosporidium, Leptospira, Salmonella and E. coli can survive for months in feces or soil. Roundworms can survive four years in soil.
- Even commercial yard waste processors do not currently compost waste at temperatures sufficient to kill many pathogens in pet waste, so don’t put dog waste in the yard waste bins for curbside pickup.”
WHY IS PUTTING DOG POOP IN A LANDFILL ANY BETTER?
Landfills have liners and treatment systems, so pollutants won’t leach into the environment. We certainly want to reduce our waste stream to landfills wherever possible. When it comes to pet waste, however, there is currently no better alternative.
If you buried pet waste in your own yard you may cause health problems, especially if it is close to a garden or play area. In many places the groundwater is close to the surface or only protected by sandy soils that allow pollutants to quickly travel to our drinking water, so burying it on your own isn’t the best solution.
At some point in the future, commercial composting technology may be sufficient to treat pet waste, enabling curbside pickup along with yard waste. Until then, landfilling is the best alternative for pet waste.
How to catch a loose dog (don’t chase it!)
If you chase your dog, its instinct is to run. If you lie down on the ground and act hurt (yelping, etc.), its instinct is to come check on you and make sure you’re alright. Feels like a dirty trick at the time, but it’s worth saving your dog from getting loose or hurt.
What to do if a dog gets loose:
- Stop, drop and lie down – It might sound silly, but dogs find the behavior odd. When you don’t give chase and instead lie down and lie still, a dog will get curious and will often come back to see if you are okay or to see what you are doing.
- Stop, drop, and curl into a ball – This is also a curious behavior for a dog. Because you are not moving and your hands are closely wrapped around your head, they see you as less of a threat and will come to check you out. This gives them a chance to sniff you and realize it’s you, their owner, or to allow you to pet them and grab their collar.
- Run in the opposite direction – What? Run away from the dog? That’s right. Some dogs love a good chase. Instead of you chasing them, let them chase you. Even if the dog is not up for a good chase, he may be curious about your odd behavior and follow along until you can get him into a building or car or someplace where it is easier to corral him.
- Sit down with your back or side to the dog and wait – Again, dogs are thrown off by this odd behavior and will become curious and approach. The other advantage is that by sitting down with your side or back to them, you appear less threatening and they are more likely to approach. If you have good treats, place a few around you to draw them near.
- Open a car door and ask the dog if she wants to go for a ride – It almost seems too simplistic and silly to be true, but many a dog has been fooled into hopping into a car because they were invited to go for a ride. It makes sense, especially if the dog has learned to associate the car with good things (e.g., the dog park).
Why you should make sure your dog waste is picked up (infographic)
EVER LEAVE POOP BEHIND?
IN YOUR YARD, ON THE TRAIL, OUT OF SIGHT?
Here’s what happens NOT PICKED UP from DOG PARK, YOUR LAWN
72.8 million dogs currently live in the United States
40% of Americans don’t pick up after their dogs
44% wouldn’t pick up if asked are lying
Beware! 1 gram of dog 23 million feces contains fecal bacteria
Decompostion Begins Toxic bacteria seeps into the soil
Poop carries dangerous pathogens and pollutes our freshwater supply
Wastewater treatment IS NOT designed to filter dog waste!
Diseases & Viruses
Symptoms: fever, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms: fever, shock, lethargy, dehydration, more
E.coli, Giardia, Parvo
Symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting
Symptoms: bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehyrdation, more
FACT: Our natural ecostystem can handle 2 dogs per square mile. In urban areas, there are 125 dogs per square mile.
Always bag it & trash it! Even when no one is watching!
According to the EPA, dog poop is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills.
PoopBuddy aims to inspire responsibility among dog owners by introducing fun to an otherwise stinky task. Learn more at poopbuddy.com.
SOURCES: GreenvilleCounty.org, National Resources Defense Council, Alamo Area, Partners for Animal Welfare, Keep It Clean Partnership, Environmental Protection Agency, Cable News Network
DIRTY WORK, ATLANTA’s PET WASTE REMOVAL PROFESSIONALS ARE HERE TO HELP. For a free quote or information, please give us a woof below!
While the dog has always been man’s best friend, dog waste has posed a threat to man’s foot and nose. And now research has proven a more unsettling fact: dog waste is also a significant environmental pollutant.
Studies have found that roughly 40 percent of Americans don’t pick up after their dogs’ waste. Dog feces accounts for 24 percent of the bacteria that pollutes our urban and suburban waterways. You can help by making sure your dog’s waste is picked up 100 percent of the time.
In 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized pet waste as a major contributor of Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) and as such, the runoff from pet waste will continue to produce harmful effects on our drinking water supply, recreation, fisheries and wildlife unless we all work together in our communities to reduce and prevent this pollution from occurring.
DIRTY WORK Pet Waste Removal Service has been there since 1998 to help any Atlanta area dog owner, park, apartment or multi-family community that may be looking for an affordable solution to keeping their yards or property cleared of dog poop.
To help raise awareness of the hazards of uncleaned pet waste and International Pooper Scooper Week, DIRTY WORK is providing a 10% April discount to new metro-Atlanta residents that sign up for dog waste pickup April 1-7th, 2015.
To learn more about DIRTY WORK’s Metro-Atlanta dog waste removal service, Scoop the Poop Campaign and environmental and health risks related to dog feces please visit our website:http://www.CallDirtyWork.com
About DIRTY WORK
DIRTY WORK, Atlanta area ‘entre-manures’ since 1998 charges a small per-cleaning fee for its professional pooper scooper to find, collect dog waste, haul away, and then properly dispose of the pet waste. DIRTY WORK provides its professional pet waste clean-up and removal services, pet station maintenance and supplies for individual yards, parks, and multi-family communities. It’s purpose is to take over a dog owner’s worst chore, keep properties clean & healthy and to give pet owners more quality time with their pets and families.
To learn more call 404-876-9333 or visit http://www.CallDirtyWork.com
It has come to our attention that many Druid Hills residents (DeKalb County, Georgia | Emory University | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | University Park | Emory Village | Chelsea Heights) may have been canceled by their previous pooper scooper service when that dog waste service dropped Druid Hills from their service area.
Dirty Work Pooper Scooper Service has a long established route in Druid Hills and would be delighted to assist you.
Our quotes are free, no obligation, no hassle, and no contract is required. Dirty Work Pet Waste Removal Service will send the same Scooper to your home each week and provide reliable, thorough and affordable service.
Please call 404-876-9333 or visit our website for more information and a quick, easy quote.
We look forward to talking with you!