Los Alamos Poop Scoop Owner Tony Mitchell. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
Cleaning up after your dog is one of the less-than-favorable aspects of pet ownership. It is a smelly job, but someone has to do it.
In fact, Los Alamos County has an ordinance that requires pet owners to clean up after their animals.
In section 6-8 of the ordinance it is states, “It shall be unlawful for the keeper of any dog or cat to fail to promptly remove and dispose of in a sanitary manner excrement deposited by the dog or cat.”
It is further stated in this section, “It shall also be unlawful under this section to permit excessive animal excrement to accumulate on any property to the degree that it becomes offensive or injurious to health or constitutes a nuisance. Failure to remove and properly dispose of excrement can result in fines up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail…”
Public Safety Aide Robert Aragon gave an example of how this ordinance is enforced. If an owner is not cleaning up after their dogs, he said, and the smell is becoming excessive, then the County’s Animal Control will do a check and allow the owner time to clean up the animal waste. If the owner does nothing then they could be cited under the ordinance.
This ordinance also applies when walking dogs on sidewalks and taking them to a dog park or on a hiking trail, Aragon said, adding that dog owners are encouraged to carry a bag to clean up after their pets, adding that there are stations on various walking paths stocked with bags.
In general the community complies with this ordinance, Aragon said.
“The public in Los Alamos is really good about taking care of their animals,” he said.
There is now another option available to pet owners for cleaning up after their animals. They can hire Tony Mitchell, owner of Los Alamos Poop Scoop.
Mitchell started his business three months ago. He offers a seasonal rate, which is four-weeks or more of pet waste. The cost is $69.95 for one dog and increases $10 for each additional dog.
Also, he offers a weekly or bi-weekly rate of $19.95. One-time and first-time visits are $49.99. Mitchell said he just offers his services for residential lawns but is open to cleaning commercial properties.
He has previous experience in this field. Mitchell said he operated a pet waste cleanup business as a kid all through his teen years.
Mitchell said he also loves dogs. He owned one but when he moved from Salt Lake City to Los Alamos five years ago, his parents grew so attached to Mitchell’s dog that he decided to let them keep the dog.
Besides a background in pet care, Mitchell also has entrepreneurial experience. He had a successful freelance career in marketing but then the pandemic hit, and he needed to find a new profession.
“I thought, ‘How can I utilize my skills and do something for myself?’,” Mitchell said. He is enjoying working for himself.
“First of all, I love the freedom,” he said. “It’s really nice to have the freedom and to challenge myself and see what works and what doesn’t work.”
He added that he appreciates the opportunity to serve the community and said so far, the community’s response to his business has been positive.
“The involvement of the community up here to help small businesses – I think it’s awesome,” Mitchell said.
For more information about Mitchell’s business, visit https://www.losalamospoopscoop.com/ or call 505.226.6749.