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Finding diamonds in the poop

It takes a special kind of person to turn turds into money, but a brave brotherhood of poop scoopers do just that.

It takes a special kind of person to turn turds into money, but a brave brotherhood of poop scoopers do just that.

To celebrate International Poop Scoopers Week (April 1-7), Metro got the inside scoop from the professionals who pick up where your pet left off.

Alain Gauthier has been tidying up backyards in Toronto for 10 years. A dog-trainer by trade, he was inspired by an ad he saw for the U.S. doody giant Pet Butler.

Reached on his cellphone as he patrolled a customer’s yard, Gauthier said the business has taken off.
“Poop Patrol has flourished bigger than my training,” he said. “You need to be an outdoors person. (You have to like) the birds, the foxes, the rabbits; the nature around you. If you’d prefer to be in a cubicle, it’s definitely not for you.”

Gauthier has more than 100 regular clients and three scoopers working for him. Poop Patrol got so successful he no longer had to scoop himself but, after a little break, he returned to the trenches.

“I missed the thinking time. It’s a great time to zone out, do the work and think and dream,” the philosopher-scooper said. “I also started gaining weight. It’s a great way to stay physically active while getting paid.”

He gives staff a two-day training course covering the health basics and how to read dogs and work with customers.

“Most of my employees are seniors,” he says. “Seniors are the greatest. They have a good work ethic, they’re not in a rush — they’re careful and take pride in their work.”

Mic Melanson is also hoping to scoop to conquer. The Halifax man recently opened Scoopy-Poo, an East Coast pet waste removal company. He packed in his job in express delivery to start collecting less pleasant packages.

He had his epiphany when he missed a golf tee time because he got sidetracked cleaning up after his dog.

“It’s not that I didn’t like doing it, but that I didn’t have time to do it. When I resigned, I had lots of time to do it,” he explained.

He’s had some doozies: One lady had five dogs in a small run.

“There was six to eight inches of poop on the patio, yard, everywhere. I was there for about three hours,” Melanson said. “Other people see poop; I see money.”

 
 
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