Thursday, July 19, 2018

Toys for Shelter Dogs – How One Arizona Businessman Makes a Difference!

As the owner of a pet waste removal company, people often ask me why I got into the business. I usually just say that I love dogs and I saw a great business opportunity in a niche market. But truth be told, I was simply burnt out of working for other people and had declared that “I would rather pick up dog s*** for a living than do this anymore!”. Never one to be all bark and no bite, I followed through with my declaration and began building my business.




Certainly, I had plenty of doubters when I got into this business and I was constantly questioned. Thankfully, my sarcastic attitude and a desire to prove them all wrong got me through it...

Why would you want to do that?”
Yes, Susan, I’ve always dreamt of picking up dog poop for a living.

Ugh, the smell must be horrible! How do you do it?”
Yes, Wendy, it’s dog poop and it smells bad. I use a scooper and a bucket.

Do you really think you can make money doing something that I MAKE my kids do?”
No, Bob, I just want to relive my childhood when my dad MADE me do it too.

I started off with a small handful of customers on the weekends which brought in a little bit of extra money to help out with the bills. Even as my number of customers began to grow, I honestly wasn’t sure if it would ever be more than a part-time side job to supplement my income. But word continued to spread and within a year of starting the business, it was already time to make the leap to full-time. It is safe to say that I severely underestimated the demand for this type of service!

Now with a thriving business underway, I find myself in a great position to give back to the furry friends who helped me get to where I am today. There are so many dogs in shelters, rescues, and foster homes that just need a loving family to call their own and I want to help them all! I began using some of the company profits to purchase toys and treats for the dogs at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. I remember being so excited about purchasing 150 dog-friendly tennis balls and bringing them to the dogs!






 As I walked through the facility, handing out a ball to each dog in their kennel, I realized that I would not have enough. There were over 300 dogs being housed at this one facility alone! It was then and there that I realized that I had to do more.

Having spent the last year building a network of animal lovers, I knew  I had a platform to make a bigger difference. This is when I started the Poodini Pals Toy Drive. I asked my customers to donate any toys, treats, blankets, leashes, or other supplies that could help the dogs feel more comfortable in the shelter and ultimately give them a better chance of being adopted. My customers answered the call and I quickly collected several trash bags worth of supplies.

I began contacting local businesses to see if I could put up a poster and leave a donation bin. Fortunately enough, several businesses jumped at the opportunity to help my cause. Word began to spread and there was a flood of donations coming in. 
 

At my next visit to the shelter, I had a full truck load of supplies with me!



If you would like to support Mike's efforts, please contact him at toydrive@poodiniaz.com to see how you can help!


Thanks to the love and generosity of so many compassionate people, I have been able to continue to supply the shelter with much needed supplies on a regular basis. Though managing the toy drive can be quite laborious at times, if it helps even one dog to be adopted, then it is totally worth it! I feel very fortunate to be able to help and honestly wish that I could do more.

Dogs have been good to me, and I can only hope to be just as good to them!

Mike Casten
Dog lover and owner of Poodini Pet Waste Removal
Poo happens...We make it disappear! Visit us at poodiniaz.com




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