When Charlene Cook moved to Trail, she started Poooh Busters – a company that will stoop and scoop your pets poop for a one time clean-up or on a regular basis, so you don’t have to. She wanted to start a business that would provide a service she found so useful when she lived in Calgary.
“We actually had someone coming in and cleaning our yard because I worked in really weird shifts,” she said. “Then my partner got diagnosed with cancer, so it was one of those ‘one less thing to worry about,’ scenarios.”
Cook and Poooh Busters are already giving back to the community, despite only being up and running for a few months.
“For the most part, it is about becoming part of the community and providing something that maybe people didn’t realize they needed,” she said.
Part of her company’s community involvement includes helping those who can’t help themselves with a program called Poooh Fairies, starting in the fall, inspired by her own family’s experiences with cancer diagnoses and chemotherapy.
“Various parts of the hospital can nominate people who can’t care for their pets for whatever reason, be it cancer care, or pregnancy or an injury, and once a month we will give away free service to one person,” she said.
“We have gone through getting the [cancer] re-diagnosis right before we came [to Trail] and when we were in the hospital for chemotherapy, there was an older gentleman who had no family in the area and the only thing he had was his cat. He had to re-home his cat because he wasn’t allowed to scoop the litter box because you can’t while you are doing chemotherapy. To alleviate that for some people would be great.”
Cook says Poooh Busters wouldn’t have become a reality without the help of local organizations like Community Futures to help get her business off the ground.
“It gives you a bit of financial security when you are first starting out,” she said. “There’s a reason most new companies fail. They don’t have any cushion in the first year. You never grow quite as quickly as you thought you were going to, or there are expenses that you weren’t expecting.”
Advice and support from Community Futures was vital to Poooh Busters in their earlier days.
“To have that perspective from a group of people who have the skill base and the knowledge of the area itself and to help you navigate is so helpful,” said Cook.