No one ever confused what comes out the back end of a dog with money, but Tom Spano saw it differently.
The Moran resident has a new business that aims to relieve dog owners and others who suffer from dog poop problems of the hassle of cleaning it up.
“It’s a business everywhere else except in Jackson,” he said of the turd removal business. “I asked around and nobody else does it. ... And with the number of dogs in Jackson it makes sense.”
Spano said his The Dog’s Business enterprise sounds odd to many people, but he insisted it’s a “legitimate poop business.”
He figures it’s a clean-up job not much different than from any other clean-up job. A long time ago he worked for a dog waste removal business in New York for about a year, and it planted something in his head that came back when he was casting about for a business to start.
“It was one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had,” Spano said. “Sure, I pick up poop, but I’m outside all day.”
And it seemed to Spano like a natural business: Jackson Hole is deep in dogs and also deep in what they expel. The places that need his service include homes but also businesses that have a patch of grass or a big lawn, not to mention job sites. He’ll clean them all.
The advantage — if you can’t figure it out yourself — is primarily aesthetic: not having piles of poop decorating your property. But it’s also a matter of not stepping in it, not disgusting your visitors, not losing use of your yard, not attracting insects, not watching your green grass turn dead brown and avoiding a gag-inducing menu of contaminants including roundworms, E. coli, salmonella, giardia, leptospira, parvovirus and coliform bacteria.
To potential customers not immediately convinced, Spano has photos on his phone to show. One is of a side yard of about 15 feet by 20 feet apparently carpeted with crap. A second shot of the yard shows it clean and with five 5-gallon trash bags off to the side, bulging fat with ... well, stuff.
“It’s always all bagged up,” Spano said.
The captured dog droppings go into the customer’s trash, either the regular can or a specially appointed receptacle “so I don’t have to drive around with it.”
The process is basic: rake and scoop. The finding, though, is more exacting than what you’re likely to get from the reluctant kid often employed in the task. Spano sets a grid for each job to eliminate chance, having found that if you lack a plan to locate the deposits “they sneak up on you. ... you come back and there they are.”
He said he operates “like search and rescue.”
The cost ranges from $15 for a weekly visit for the the smallest one-dog yard and on up to $46 for a twice-a-week cleaning for a large yard and three dogs. A job site once-over starts at $75. He’ll come by to give you an estimate for any job based on “how many dogs, how much we’re going to be walking, how long we’re there.”
Spano can be reached at 690-5949 or you can find details and make an appointment at his website, TheDogsBusinessJH.com.
“Sure, I pick up poop, but I’m outside all day.” — Tom Spano The Dog’s business