Carey Zembas of Lewiston cleans dog poop Sunday from the property of a Lewiston business. Zembas is the owner of Scoop 4Paws, a pet waste removal company. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — When the snow melts, there’s suddenly no ignoring it any longer: your lawn’s covered in dog.

Their business all winter is Carey Zembas’ business come spring.

This is the third year that Carey Zembas of Lewiston has cleaned up pet waste as the owner of Scoop 4Paws. Zembas said that she has seen growth in her business each year. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“The first few months of the season, everybody wants the poo gone,” said the Lewiston entrepreneur behind Scoop 4Paws pet waste removal service.

Maybe it’s all those pandemic puppies, or too much time stuck at home staring at our yards, or better word of mouth, but in 2021 business is also booming, up 83% year-over-year.

“My goal was to at least have one full-time employee this year, that was my prayer, and it looks like I might actually be able to do that,” Zembas said. “I’m pretty excited.”

The inspiration for the business first struck six years ago. Zembas had three dogs and a balking teenager.

“Even though kids always say, ‘I want a dog and I’ll take care of it and I’ll pooper-scoop the yard,’ that just didn’t happen,” she said.

At about that same time, she saw a man on Facebook with a pet waste removal service. “I was like this is genius, and he was in Florida, so they always have year-round perfect pooper scooping weather,” Zembas said.

She spent three years researching the concept — how to approach it professionally, how to dispose of waste, how not to cross-contaminate — and drawing up a business plan. Background cleaning knowledge helped: When she’s not on lawns, Zembas is the chief operating officer at Rose’s Commercial Cleaning.

“Kim (Robitaille), the owner, she volunteers her time to help me, so it’s pretty amazing that I have a company that supports my business and goes out and literally helps me to build this up,” Zembas said. Friends and family have also pitched in, “which is so sweet. My mom has been doing the scheduling and trying to keep track of the phone calls and messages. She’s been amazing.”

The business is open, weather-permitting, from March to November. Now to June its busy season with post-winter spring clean-ups.

Calls for service around greater Lewiston-Auburn start with a walk-through and a quote, which usually runs between $60 and $200 for a spring cleaning, depending upon the size of the yard. Zembas wears booties or sanitizes her boots between jobs. She also wears rubber gloves and sanitizes equipment often.

After the first big clean, customers often have her back weekly, bi-weekly or monthly for routine poo maintenance.

“Most of my clients are busy; with any other service you sell, it’s convenience,” she said.

One client broke their leg and can’t get into the yard. Some elderly customers can’t bend over for long. Some travel a lot.

“Dog poops are like mice,” Carey Zembas of Lewiston, owner of Scoop 4Paws, said. “If you find one, you’re probably going to find more,” she said. Dogs will often poop in the same area as long as the area is clean, but if it’s not, they will find another spot, she said. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“My vision was that I would create something my kids could do or something that I could pass on to family to give them some freedom of time and make their own schedule,” Zembas said.

She’s often joined for now by her 8-year-old, who wants to be a veterinarian someday.

“We just picked up a pug account,” Zembas said. “She’s been very happy to go and spend some time with the pugs while we scoop.”


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