Sam Knowlton, owner of Parapoopers, cleans up a backyard on Ballpark Drive in Portland. Knowlton started the business earlier this year. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

PORTLAND — Avoiding the chore of cleaning up his dog’s deposits in the backyard after the long Maine winter has led to a new business for city resident Sam Knowlton.

“I didn’t pick up all winter and it would snow and snow and then get covered. I was dreading picking it up when the snow was melting. I thought, I can’t be the only one that would rather pay someone else to do it,” he said.

Earlier this year, Knowlton started Parapoopers, a dog waste disposal service that has found a following.

Natalie Glinatsis, a North Deering resident, hired Knowlton for weekly cleanups this spring.

“We have four dogs and inevitably when the snow melts, you have a lot of ‘treasures’ in the backyard,” Glinatsis said.

Rather than tackle the cleanup themselves, Glinatsis and her husband, Tim, hired Parapoopers, and Knowlton has been coming back weekly ever since.

“It is a task that nobody wants to do, so if you can pay someone and you can afford to do it, that is awesome,” Glinatsis said.

Donna Caron hired Knowlton this summer to clean up her backyard on Ballpark Drive after seeing an ad for the service in a local newspaper.

“I thought it was a great idea and I liked that he was a (military) veteran,” Caron said of Knowlton, who served in the U.S. Army from 2004-2009.

Caron said she and her husband own businesses and it can be hard to find the time to get out in the backyard to clean up after their dog, a 10-year-old chocolate Lab. Caron owns Sun City Tanning and Swimwear on Main Street in Yarmouth, and her husband, Mark, is an Elevation Burger franchise owner.

“It is a lot for us with a busy schedule to get back there and clean up all the time,” Caron said. “This seemed like an easy fit for us to do this and I like to support local (businesses).”

Glinatsis, who has a Lab mix, corgi, cockapoo and standard poodle, said she has been impressed with the Parapoopers service.

“It is not always comfortable having people you don’t know at your house, but from our first time we met (Knowlton), he has been personable and extremely professional. It has been an incredible service for us,” Glinatsis said.

Knowlton, a Camden native, said the response to Parapoopers had been positive.

“There are a lot of people with dogs and people don’t think this is something that you can pay someone else to do, even though there are so many other household chores people pay for,” he said.

Parapoopers typically will go to residences once a week to clean up dog droppings. Services can also be arranged based on individual need and the number of dogs.

While it is not full-time work – he holds a full-time job as a trauma and extremities sales representative for Stryker Orthopedics – Knowlton said he would like to expand the business beyond his current customers in Portland, Scarborough and Gorham.

“I am open to any customer all the way south to Biddeford or up to Cumberland,” he said.

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