Sure, tax accountants find themselves extraordinarily busy in early spring, but they aren't alone in their work-related mayhem. Professional poop-scooper Mike Burns, owner of Scoops Pest Waste Removal, says spring is his busiest time of year.
"Many people call in spring for a one-time cleaning of their yard after the snow has melted," says Burns, 40.
Armed with only a large lobby pan lined with a plastic bag and a rake, Burns says his business will "pick up where your dog left off." He started his "dirty business" a year ago, after buying the company -- along with 55 customers -- from two women looking to dump the biz. He has since built Scoops to 120 clients and the list is growing.
"There's definitely a need for this type of business. And it pays really good, but doesn't offer the benefits of my full time job," says Burns, who also works full time as a civil engineer.
Burns chose a rather tasteful and straight-forward name for his business -- Scoops -- but other poop scoopers around the country couldn't resist calling themselves punny and ridiculous names like Pile Patrol, Dr. Doo-Litter, Civic Doody, Poop Masters, Scooper Trooper, the Poop Fairy, The Grand Poobah, Doo Dude, Scoopa da Poopa and Yucko's.
The cost of professional poop scooping ranges greatly, depending on the size of the yard, number of dogs and frequency of visits. Burns gives discounts to senior citizens and believes he offers fair prices in general.
Burns says he enjoys the work because it allows him to spend time outside and because the customer appreciation is so genuine. But how does he deal with the unpleasantness of the task?
"For one, I never touch the stuff," he says.
Burns prefers to scoop at least a couple hours after the dog relieves himself because it's stiffer and less smelly. "Sometimes the smell is bad if you clean up a yard right after a dog has done his business, but generally, there is little if any smell," he says.
In the 2003 film "Envy," Jack Black plays a character who invents "Va-poo-rize," a chemical spray that makes doggy fecal matter disappear, but for Burns, the process is less magical. After removing the waste, Burns puts the poop in the back end of his pick-up -- not inside the cab of the vehicle -- and drives it to a landfill.
"Changing dirty baby diapers is much worse than this," says Burns.
Scoops Pet Waste Removal Web site is scoopsremovals.com.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.