The dog poop police now have a secret weapon
(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)
Do you have a dog? Do you pick up after his poop? You do? Thank you! Don’t you wish others did too? Few things are worse than stepping in dog poop left on the sidewalk by some irresponsible person.
That’s the problem that entrepreneur Mark Guarino is solving. One doggy bag at a time.
His one-year-old start-up, Mr. Dog Poop, Inc., has joined a growing list of companies in the burgeoning dog waste management industry, according to this article on Circa. No dogs were harmed during the writing of this piece.
Dog poop is not funny. The fecal matter contains toxic bacteria like salmonella and parasites like hookworm and it can also attract rodents. Plus, it smells bad. Too often it finds the bottom of your shoe.
Mr. Dog Poop is a service that analyzes a dog’s DNA extracted from its poop. Why would anyone want to do this? Think homeowners’ associations. Some, according to the article, are requiring residents to subject their dogs to a mandatory DNA swab which Mr. Dog Poop analyzes and stores for $35. Then, when a rogue pile is encountered, the property manager (or the least popular member of the association staff) can take and send a sample to Mr. Dog Poop who, for another $50, will analyze and match to the embarrassed dog and its guilty owner, who then gets fined…and ostracized by the other members.
The concept can be expanded to communities, townships and even cities too. Imagine all residents sending in dog poop samples as part of their annual license fee. And then getting fined by their locality when they don’t pick up behind their pet. I bet Mark Guarino is imagining that.
For Guarino, the money’s not in the poop–it’s in the swabs. He’s invested about a half a million dollars in the company, has partnered with 150 clients and has expanded its paw, sorry, footprint to 32 states. This is a business that is not going away anytime soon.
“The one thing we all know for sure is that tomorrow, millions of dogs are going to walk out their door and poop,” Guarino told Circa. If you’re not picking up the waste like a good citizen, you better watch out. Mr. Dog Poop may be on the case.