BELPRE - No one likes to clean up doggy doodoo, but one Belpre couple is making a business out of doing just that.
Cindy Parmiter, husband, Larry, and their 9-year-old daughter Ashlyn recently started a pet waste removal business - that's right. they are professional pooper scoopers.
The new business, dubbed "Got Doody?" provides pet waste removal services in yards, parks, anywhere they are called out to in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
PAMELA BRUST Special to the Times
Professional pooper scoopers Cindy and Larry Parmiter, and their daughter Ashlyn, of Belpre, are armed and ready for business. “Got Doody,” their new pet waste removal business, is open.
"We go out and scoop up the poop and dispose of it," said Cindy Parmiter. She said she first got the idea after surfing the Internet.
"I saw this type of business in other parts of the country. It's a real big trend in the larger cities. There are about 700 of these companies right now, some of them are making into six figures in salary. I thought maybe it was something we might try. Dog waste doesn't biodegrade, like some people think. It's not a fertilizer. It just lays there. It has a lot of harmful bacteria and parasites in it. It smells. It's just not healthy to have laying around in your yard, and eventually it gets in the water supply. That's one of the reasons these types of businesses are so popular in the larger cities," Cindy Parmiter said.
The family already has several small businesses: Larry has Elite Karoke, together they sell used DVDs at Peddler's Junction in Belpre and Rinks Flea Market in Marietta, and Cindy, a former realtor, now does home staging and organizing, cleaning and preparing homes for market.
"We aren't afraid to try new things and we're not afraid to work, so we decided to give this a try," Larry said. "When we started telling people what we were doing, they just looked at us with a kind of disgusted look on their faces."
The family has three of their own dogs so they know all about the mess pets leave behind.
Cindy said her husband and their daughter, who helps out with the new business, wear disposal shoe covers and rubber gloves, which they dispose of after each job, and they sterilize all their equipment.
"We go to people's homes and scoop up the doggy waste, using the most sanitary methods available and dispose of it. We are a green company using only biodegradable materials. We pick up the waste and dump it in the bags, enzymes are sprinkled on so it will help with the decontamination process," Cindy said. "There is bacteria and parasites in the waste product most people don't even realize are there.
"We have rakes and scoopers and we disinfect everything so we aren't carrying germs or bacteria from one location to another," Cindy said.
Larry noted a side benefit to the pet owner is they notice if there might be a health problem with the pet, and can alert the pet owner if they see anything unusual in the feces in case the petowners need to get their pet checked out by a vet.
A Centers for Disease Control study found 14 percent of Americans tested positive for roundworms. There are pet waste disposal businesses from Seattle, Wash., to Boston, Mass.
Larry said the service is relatively inexpensive.
"There are a lot of elderly and disabled folks that still have pets but can't get outside and clean it up, so this could be a helpful service to them," Cindy said.
"It's a new idea for this area, it will take people awhile to get used to the idea and to understand how it works," Larry said.
The company has a Facebook page under Got Doody. For more information, call 304-482-4299 or 304-482-3560.