SOUTHWICK – A Southwick resident has launched a unique service that takes the onerous task of poop scooping off of dog owners’ hands.
Sunny Dog Days Pet Waste Removal, a local family-owned business, now provides weekly or twice-weekly visits to residential and commercial customers in southwestern Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut.
Owner Sunny Ellis says an estimated 63 million households in the United States own at least one dog, with dog adoptions surging during the pandemic. The average dog is responsible for three quarters of a pound of dog waste every day.
“Having a dog in your life brings a lot of joy and love,” says owner Sunny Ellis. “But it can also be a lot of work, and poop scooping your yard is one unpleasant chore that most people would rather not have to do,” she said, adding that fall is a great time to start the service as part of prepping your yard for winter.
According to The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists, dog waste poses a serious health hazard because it carries disease-causing bacteria and viruses that can contaminate water and soil and can cause infections in pets and humans. Beyond that, dog waste does not make a good fertilizer. It can take up to a year for a poop pile to decompose and, because dog waste is acidic, it can kill grass.
The best part of providing pet waste removal services, says Ellis, is that it frees time for dog owners to play and hang out with their pets.
Asked how she got into this business, which many people have never heard of before, Ellis said she hadn’t either. “I’ve had a lot of people saying that to me,” she said.
Ellis said she had been looking to start a business, and wanted it to involve dogs. “My fiance saw a van advertising the business in Connecticut and he mentioned it to me. I love dogs. There is a need. People don’t have time, or don’t have the ability, or maybe they don’t want to deal with it. It’s filling a need that I’m happy to do,” she said,
Ellis found a mentor, a woman in Guilford who has been doing it for years. After working on the plan for a year, she launched Sunny Dog Days Pet Waste Removal over the summer.
“People just don’t realize it’s a service they can offload to someone else. They’re really delighted to hear that,” Ellis said, adding, “We take the poop away and leave behind a lot of backyard happiness.”
Sunny Dog Days Pet Waste Removal is a member of aPaws, The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists. To learn more visit sunnydogdays.com or call 413-977-3775.