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Poop Patrol: Cheerful service for unglamorous need


Issac Misquez hit upon his business idea because of something he did not like to do: Cleaning up his yard after his two large dogs. Figuring many people felt the same way, he spotted a market opportunity without many providers, compared to larger cities.

Misquez founded Poop Patrol last year and, as a business, he says he enjoys it enough that he hopes to make this part-time enterprise, for which he works around his regular job, his full-time occupation. With a business license acquired last year and a branded shirt, he proceeds with an unglamorous yet popular service, growing his clientele since last August.

Stopping at the home of one of his clients, Misquez carefully unlocked a gate allowing him to access the back yard. (Clients are asked to bring in their dogs while he works.) Some of his clients are one-offs, while others bring him in weekly, every two weeks or monthly.

He proceeded to walk the yard slowly with a rake and a closing scoop, covering the U-shaped grounds in a pair of unhurried laps, making sure he did not miss a load.

“I like being outside,” he said. “I’ve been working inside for a lot of years and this gets me to go outside every day, at least once or twice.”

For now, Misquez focuses on cleaning up after domestic dogs but he envisions a full-time operation that would handle commercial jobs, such as for realty companies that allow renters to keep pets or are preparing residential properties for sale. Even larger jobs, requiring equipment and elaborate safety gear, will wait for the future, he said.

“Every year, just grow a little bit more,” he described his plan. “Eventually hire somebody. When I’m too old, maybe I won’t have to do the work. Maybe my son will be old enough to do it.” (No word on what the son thinks about that.)

For now, he devotes weekends and weekday evenings, approximately 30 hours per week, to Poop Patrol.

Some of his clients are older, others work during the day while their dogs stay outside in warmer weather, and others may have an injury or disability that doesn’t allow them to clean up themselves. Among his clients he reported a disabled military veteran with a service animal. Misquez says some homeowners apologize to him for the mess, which makes him chuckle: “I tell them it’s all right, that’s why I do this job. It is what it is.”

Using long-handled tools, Misquez rarely has to bend or squat — he notes that he has a bad back — and for the most part he says it is not a dirty job, whatever its reputation might be. “A lot of people think it’s a messy job, but as you have seen, I haven’t picked up anything by hand. A lot of people, in their mind, think it’s a super gross job.”

Most jobs are small enough that he usually disposes of the waste in bags deposited to the client’s own trash. However, he has had to make occasional trips to the dump. His largest assignment, he said, led to a haul of 70 to 80 pounds.

Misquez has a website (PoopPatrol7.godaddysites.com) and he said social media and word of mouth have helped him accumulate clients.

One thing he learned, he said as he scanned the yard for any missed business, is that cleaning up after little dogs is actually more challenging than bigger dogs, as the deposits are easier to miss.

With the work done and the disposal taken care of, Misquez carefully secured the gate and returned to his pickup truck with his tools as the setting sun glowed over the neighborhood

Poop Patrol, dog poop, cleaning up after pets