There's More to Picking Up After Dogs Than a Fake App
Pet waste clean-up services have become a mature business category, which may be one of the reasons the media no longer treats us to all those sophomoric references of cringe-worthy (but fun) company names like DoodyCalls, Pet Butler, Wholly Krap and Dog-Gone Doo-Doo. Or the taglines, “When nature calls, we answer” and “We’re No. 1 in the No. 2 business.”
But news of a fake dog poop app that duped mainline media (I was on vacation at the time, so I wasn’t fooled) is putting the industry back in the spotlight. Apparently in this shared economy it’s plausible that lazy dog walkers would use an app called Pooper to signal someone to come pick up after their dog so they could keep moving. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be—yet. We say “yet,” because the satirical app attracted hundreds of people who wanted to sign on as both customers and scoopers, according to Newsweek.
Back in the non-satirical world, Jacob D’Aniello, CEO of DoodyCalls, is looking at developing an app for his residential and commercial pick-up service, but it will be nothing like the fake app. It will just make the business run smoother for both customers and franchisees. His 27 franchisees servicing 47 territories “sell people leisure time,” while making the environment cleaner and safer, he adds.
It’s serious business. Picking up after dogs is a noteworthy piece of what the American Pet Products Association predicts will be a $62.7 billion industry in 2016. Scoopers at DoodyCalls make $12 to $16 an hour, D'Aniello says, and customers are charged $15 to $18 a week, depending on the workload (one dog or more). D’Aniello’s workers have an employer-matched 401(k) and a tuition reimbursement program, among other benefits. And they’re patriotic: The logo’d pet waste stations they install in communities are made in America, he says.
So it’s OK to have a service pick up after your dog, but if you’re taking your dog out in public, it’s in your hands, buddy. And best to cover it with a plastic bag.