August 10, 2005
Because dogs just can't clean up after themselves, one local couple is on doody duty and their business is cleaning up.
A former nurse and an IT consulant graduated from the University of Virginia to pursue some dirty work.
"When Nature calls we answer. That's when duty calls, so that's what we do," said owner of DootyCalls Jacob D'Aniello.
DootyCalls was the first pet waste removal service in the country.
"People don't like picking up dog poop; they're never going to like picking up dog poop. We love working outside, we love working with dogs, so it really seemed like a natural fit," said D'Aniello.
These entrepreneurs began with a cardboard box and shovel, but have evolved into a team of uniformed employees who drive in company vehicles in Virginia, Maryland, Massachusets, and soon on the west coast.
"We're number one in the number two business," D'Aniello's wife and co-owner Susan laughed.
"The last thing we want to do on Saturdays is clean up behind [our dog]and yet it's something that needs to get done and this is a service that's economical and has worked out great," said Mike Morsberger, DootyCalls first Clients in Albemarle.
Homeowners pay about $14 to be dooty free.
"You figure two times a day, seven days a week so you're looking at about 14, 14 piles of poop," said D'Aniello.
"You're dog did his duty, let us do ours," added Susan D'Aniello.
The pet industry is over $34 billion, but it's not just health services and clean-up, it includes boutiques and spas.
The D'Aniello began the business in northern Virginia and have only been open in Albemarle for about a year.