With more than 70 million dogs in the U.S., it's no wonder that pet waste removal businesses are starting to "poop" up everywhere, all with the clever names to make light of this "unglamorous" service. In the past few years, start-ups Doody Calls, Wholly Krap and Scoopy Doo have all come on the scene. But the first was Pet Butler, founded in 1988 by Matt Osborn in Columbus, Ohio.
After an initial investment of $150 for tools, flyers, business cards and a few local classified ads, the company quickly grew to seven employees, a client list of 700 regular customers and a fleet of six trucks. In 1998 he sold Pet Butler to Matt "Red" Boswell, a college grad, who moved the company to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The client list grew exponentially over the next several years, and in 2005 Boswell began franchising.
Today, Pet Butler is the largest pet waste removal company in the country, with 124 locations in 24 states, serving 7,000 single-family homes and 24,000 customers in multifamily neighborhoods. On its website the company keeps track of the number of poops it's scooped, which at press time came to 20,829,909.
What does all that "business" mean for Pet Butler? Just short of $9 million in annual revenue.