Pet Waste Removal


There’s gold in those piles of dog poop!

That’s the battle cry of those in the growing pet waste removal industry. According to The Institute for Supply Management, January 2006 marked the 34th consecutive month of growth for the service sector. This is good news for people considering entering this aspect of the pet service sector as people continue to look for ways to save time and make their lives more convenient.

And what could save you more time and be more convenient than having someone else pick up and dispose of your dog’s poop?

That’s why “Professional Animal Waste Specialists”, as they’re called, are popping up all around the country.

But is it the business for you?

Let’s take a look.


  • Start up costs are relatively low.
  • Perfect work from home business.
  • Easy work (it’s not brain surgery). No special training.
  • Set your own hours
  • Growing awareness of this type of service.
  • Can begin part-time.
  • Enjoy out door work.
  • Opportunity to upsell other products and services (how about a dog food delivery service — you’ll have both ends covered!)


  • You’re basically picking up poop all day (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Visualize doing it day in and day out.
  • Fees are generally small – $8 to $10 per visit. The key is getting people on long term contracts.
  • Clients need to be close together to minimize driving and maximize earning hours.
  • Working outside in inclement weather.


As with any service business, while it pays to do the work yourself in the beginning, your ultimate end game should be to grow to a point where you can hire others to do the actual work (in this case pooper scooping) and devote the majority of your time on sales, marketing, scheduling and customer relations.

By doing the work yourself, especially in the beginning, you not only save on employee costs but you have time to figure out how you like the work to be done. This will enable you to better train other people and put your personal stamp on the process.


The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists, or APAWS, is the professional organization that adds a stamp of professionalism to the pet waste removal business.

Not only does being a member of APAWS give you a marketing advantage (who would YOU rather use — any old pooper scooper or a PROFESSIONAL pooper scooper?!) but the organization provides clout in obtaining low cost liability insurance (a MUST) as well as some marketing muscle. For an $85 a year annual dues fee — it’s another no brainer.

Visit APAWS Here


This site provides the answers to the top 10 questions that most people considering getting into the pet waste removal business tend to ask. Aside from the really bad layout and probably the worst website logo I’ve ever seen, this is definitely worth a look. Please note that this site also sells a step-by-step start-up guide for $50. Without judging the proverbial book by it’s cover, a $50 investment for research before taking the plunge may be worth it.



This pooper scooper discussion forum is a must stop visit whether you’re thinking of starting a pet waste removal business or you’re already in it. Lots of great, topical and practical discussions about every facet of the business.

Pooper Scooper Forum


A large advantage of purchasing a franchise is not having to figure out everything on your own. The downside is the cost of buying a franchise, usually in the form of a franchise fee. But as the franchise industry is fond of pointing out, when you purchase a franchise you’re “in business FOR yourself, not BY yourself”. Just keep an eye out on the on-going fees above and beyond the one-time franchise fee. Here are two pet waste removal franchises that we found:


Based in Palmyra, VA, Doody Calls claimed to be the only pet waste disposal franchise opportunity when I spoke to them on the phone although I’ve since found others. But, that aside, Doody Calls is a family run company owned by Jacob and Susan D’Aniello. In business since 2000, the company is the stuff of entrepreneurial dreams: the couple started the business as a side business, it grew so big that they quit their day jobs to devote themselves to growing their pet waste disposal business and then began franchising and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fees: Franchise fee $20,000; 6% on-going royalities; 3% ongoing contributions to a cooperative advertising fund. (Total on-going fees=9% a year right off the top).

Doody Calls Franchise Info.


Based in Little Elm, Texas, Pet Butler has been scooping poop since 1988. Founded by Red Boswell, the company has a very slick website and a good sense of humor about the business as evidenced by their slogan: “We’re #1 in the #2 Business!”.

Fees: Franchsie fee $24,900; On-going royalty fees of 7%.

Pet Butler