New Mexico's Pet Resource SUMMER 2005


By Suzanne Brannan

Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6 The best thing about a dog or cat is their love and companionship; possibly the worst thing is cleaning up after them. Well, it was only a matter of time before some clever people came up with an idea whose time has come: pooper scoopers.

It definitely isn’t everyone’s dream job, but several creative individuals found themselves at a point in their lives where they wanted their own businesses. Joe Montoya of Animal Waste Services of Albuquerque needed the flexibility of scheduling, enjoyed being outdoors, and loved animals. A sense of humor also comes in handy. Laney Wilkins, owner of Sundog Scoop De Doo, services the Santa Fe area. She says she gets a lot of smiles and waves as she drives around town advertising her business.

All joking aside, there is a lot more to this than just picking up poop. Currently, New Mexico doesn’t require special licensing or have any sanitary standards and procedures. But Laney did her research and conducts her business according to the strictest rules set forth by several states, including the use of a special disinfectant specifically designed for use in kennels to kill dog-threatening micro-organisms. This product is the only EPA-registered product certified to kill Parvovirus. Both Joe and Laney stress cleanliness and attention to odor prevention. The dog’s waste is scooped into individual bags for each household and the tools are disinfected after each stop. Joe and Laney dispose of the waste in their own waste units. Sundog contracts with the same waste hauling service that kennels use.

Another concern for both customers and scoopers is the safety of the animals during clean-up. Joe Montoya will provide a free padlock when the customer requires a secure and locked gate. Both Joe and Laney consider it a perk of the business when a pet’s behavior allows them to interact with the animal. But in situations where it’s apparent the dog will not allow strangers in the yard, they ask the customer to confine the pet during clean-up.

Both companies continue to provide service during most types of weather, except in very cold temperatures or if there is one inch of snow of more on the ground. Sometimes rescheduling is necessary to prevent excessive accumulation. Rates for these services vary, depending on number and size of dogs. In the case of Sundog, which services some customers in rural Santa Fe county, size of yard or acreage and type of terrain also affect the rate. Animal Waste Services offers a senior or disabled discount and a one-time discount for rescues. If you’ve ever wished you had some help cleaning your yard before that summer barbeque or family gathering, one-time or short-term service is available. Local realtors will often use this service before holding an open house.

Besides providing a service for busy young professionals or active families, one of the most rewarding aspects of this business is helping senior, disabled and ill persons care for and keep their animal companions. For Laney and Joe, business is truly picking up!

You can contact Animal Waste Services at 505-263-2121 or Sundog Scoop De Doo at 505 424-3647.

Suzanne Brannan is a realtor by trade and a greyhound lover by inclination who is the proud guardian of eight handsome greyhounds and two pygmy goats.

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