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Woman does her duty after pets do theirs

June 30, 2005|by TARA REILLY

CLEAR SPRING

tarar@herald-mail.com

Dara Bishop heads into backyards like she's about to conduct a medical experiment.

She sterilizes the soles of her shoes, pulls on several layers of plastic gloves and lugs buckets and two spray containers with her.

But there's nothing scientific about what she's hauling when she emerges from the properties: buckets full of dog poop.

"It's not a glorious job, but somebody has to do it," Bishop said.

Bishop, 26, started a pet waste removal business, Pet Tactics, about two years ago.

To sum it up, it's a service that keeps the grass clean and dog owners from tiptoeing through their backyards to dodge droppings from "Spot."

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She said she used to use a rake and pan to clean up after the dogs, but found that wasn't the most efficient method. Now, she wears a few layers of plastic gloves and picks it up with her hand.

Bishop places the droppings in garbage bags inside sealed containers and takes them to the landfill.

Whatever can't be picked up she sprays with a stool dissolver.

The job doesn't gross her out.

"I have four dogs, so I'm used to it," Bishop said.

Bishop also carries around special green spray that covers up grass stains left by pet waste, and she disinfects everything before and after each property cleaned to prevent the spread of disease.

Hamilton Boulevard resident Jennifer Killins hired Bishop about four months ago to clean up after her dog, Jordan, an 8-year-old chow/spitz. She said she was thrilled when she found out about the service while glancing through the phone book.

Bishop visits the residence once a week.

"As soon as I found it in the phone book, I was like, I can't believe someone actually does this," Killins said.

She said the service allows her husband and children to use the yard without the fear of stepping in something.

"It's just really to be able to let them come out here and play and not worry about them stepping in a mess," Killins said. "It's a great service."

Killins also said Bishop charges affordable rates.

Weekly cleanings range from $7 to $14.50. The charges for twice a month cleanings are $13 to $21, and monthly rates are $30 to $38.50.

The prices are based on the number of dogs at a residence and the size of the yard.

Bishop, who also is a construction consultant, said she started Pet Tactics to try something new, even if it meant taking a little ribbing from those who knew her.

"Their first reaction is ... 'You do what?' I think it sinks in overnight, and they come back and say, 'That's a great idea,'" Bishop said.

Bishop said she has about 35 clients, even though she's done little advertising.

The main reason her clients hire her to clean up the yards is because they don't have the time to do it, she said.

"Usually, it's the last thing on people's minds," Bishop said. "They like a clean yard, and it doesn't cost ... a lot of money because I'm cheap enough."

While it might be messy, she said cleaning up after the dogs is a rewarding job.

"I like the satisfaction of knowing that the yard is better than when I got there," Bishop said.

More information about Pet Tactics may be found at www.pettactics.com.

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