Big job: How one cunning Kiwi entrepreneur is planning on making pet poop pay

No one likes to clean up after Fido goes to the bathroom. That’s precisely why a Tauranga PhD student feels her business can fill a need. Will she succeed in her plan to make Aotearoa less, um, stinky?

Dog poo. Few, if any, things are more disgusting. The vast majority of us – even those who own dogs – would rather never have to see (or smell) the stuff.

That’s exactly for that reason that one intrepid Kiwi entrepreneur is hoping her business will take off.

University of Canterbury commerce franchising specialist Faith Jeremiah has launched the Pet Poo Crew in the Bay of Plenty, with the pet waste removal business doing exactly what the name implies.

“New Zealand has more pets than anywhere else in the world,” says Jeremiah.

“In total there are nearly five million pets, outnumbering people in New Zealand, with about 1.4 million cats and around 700,000 dogs. We want to service at least 25 percent of all households with pets in two years.”

Image: Pet Poo Crew managing director Faith Jeremiah

It’s an incredibly lofty goal, for sure. The business is headquartered in Tauranga, meaning cleaning up after Fluffy or Scooby in Invercargill just wouldn’t be possible for Jeremiah if she’s really to service a quarter of New Zealand homes by 2017. That’s where a plan for franchising comes in.

“There is a significant importance in New Zealand for a licenced pet waste removal service,” says Jeremiah.

It’s a stinky job, but Jeremiah, says there is a significant market gap, particularly when it comes to pet waste removal from events such as parades or from rental properties after someone moves out. With a single gram of dog waste containing up to countless millions coliform bacteria, and possibly diseases like giardia and salmonella, removing Lassie’s… er… leavings can also improve human – and pet – health.

“Not only are there health reasons why pet owners and business persons alike should not remove animal waste, it is also imperative to ensure the waste is disposed of appropriately to diminish possible infections or diseases while simultaneously considering our environment,” she says.

Prices for the service vary widely, from $25/week for a single dog at a residential home to $55 for a one-time clean-up for three dogs. Commercial clients are asked to contact the Pet Poo Crew directly for a quote.

Sure, removing pet poo for money may remind some of us of our summertime lemonade stands or newspaper delivery runs, but let’s be honest: how many of us would prefer someone clean up after Fido if we could afford it?

Exactly.