By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Adam and Alisha Johnson feel for their customers. The Anthem couple who founded Doody Defense Pet Services are animal lovers who just want what’s best for their clients.
They clean animal waste from customers’ back yards, but it goes beyond that. The Johnsons watch animals in their clients’ or their own homes. They rid backyards of pet odors and custom build crates. The couple even educates their clients.
“Most of our competitors are in and out of back yards in 10 minutes,” Adam says. “Our average is 15 to 45 minutes, depending on what we’re walking into. We built the value of the business. We see trash in a back yard or front yard, we clean the trash. We sweep the rocks.
“If we feel like your patio needs to be rinsed, we’ll do it for free. If there’s a dog bowl that’s empty, we’ll fill it with water. If a dog is digging a hole, we’ll fill the hole. I mean, I’m already there. It just takes me a minute to go the extra mile.”
Doody Defense Pet Services covers a wide swath of the North and Northwest Valley, including Anthem, Peoria, Surprise, North Phoenix and Scottsdale. They offer free quotes on the first visit and complimentary deodorizer treatments with pet waste removal services.
Native Arizonans, the Johnsons started the business in January 2017 because of their passion for animals.
“For me, we had 20 cats. My parents were hippyish. Our animals were named Foxy Lady and Santana. That’s where our passion comes from,” Adam says.
Alisha adds, “We’ve always had a ton of animals—cats, dogs, turtles, guinea pigs, chickens and ducks. You name it we had it.”
Adam perfected his customer service skills working in a big-box grocery store since he was 18. He worked his way up to management because of his friendly nature.
“During those years, I would see customers come in all the time,” says Adam, whose family moved to Anthem in 2007. “My focus was customer service, which I implement into the business today.
“I noticed pet people spend so much money on their pets. I would talk to customers about their dogs and cats. Eventually, I looked at my wife and said, ‘I want to start our own business—a pet waste service company.’ She said she had my back 100%. I didn’t know it would explode the way it did.”
Adam laughs when he thinks about the naysayers who thought the couple was crazy for starting a company like this.
“I would never get frustrated when people would ask me those questions,” he says. “I would instead get excited because I knew there was a need. I had a vision. I also knew I wanted to offer a wide variety of pet services, including educating our clients on the importance of having a healthy, clean backyard.
“For example, did you know one gram of fecal matter can carry 23 million bacteria? The diseases can spread from the back yard into a house. The most rewarding thing is when I hear from those who said I was crazy and today they are like, ‘Wow, who knew?’”
They specialize in treating backyard odors, especially at homes with artificial turf.
“The pet urine gets trapped under the turf and the heat and the rain brings up the odor,” he says. “We were buying over-the-counter deodorizer for $30 a gallon, trying to get rid of the odors. It wasn’t working. Quickly, I realized we had to come up with our own plan. My wife did a lot of studying. We use natural deodorizer that’s 100% effective.”
Doody Defense Pet Services also pet sits. Adam says they treat animals as their own.
“People spend thousands of dollars for pet sitting,” Alisha adds. “We make it affordable for our clients. We want the dogs to feel at home. We want to be their home away from home. If the owners allow the dogs on the bed or couch, we’ll do the same. We’ll treat them like family. We don’t do crates or kennels. We take them for walks. It’s like going to grandma’s house. Some dogs don’t want to leave when their owners come to pick them up.”
Before they pet sit, the Johnsons host an extensive meet and greet to make sure the animals and the family bond. New clients receive a $20 discount, and all customers are texted and/or emailed daily photos and videos so they are at ease.
“That’s why we’re doing so well pet sitting and boarding,” Adam says. “We are licensed and insured. We build these relationships. We know everything about their fur babies.
“Animals experience high anxiety and stress at boarding facilities. That’s why we operate out of our home. We only allow two families at a time. We don’t want it to be overwhelming for our clients’ pets. They ask if we stay at their home. We do have pet sitters, our 19-year-old twin daughters. They stay at the clients’ homes. My old legs need my bed.”
The Johnsons keep a close eye on the pet-sitting jobs and make sure everyone is happy.
“We give all of our clients a gift,” Adam says. “We support all of our local businesses. We’ll give a spa pass for a whole week or a free oil change. We put dog treat bags at every single doorstep of our clients’ homes when services are complete.”
Other area entrepreneurs put their business cards in the treat bags, which led Doody Defense to film videos about its business of the week. The videos are found on its Facebook page.
A year ago, the Johnsons expanded their service to include doggy door installation. The staff also fabricates customized kennels and offers free quotes.
“We take a lot of pride in our work,” Adam says as a client’s bulldog snores in the background. “This is all we do for a living. We don’t do anything else.”
The company bottles its own deodorizer and urine repellant, both of which work for cats as well.
“When the summer heat comes, the phone rings off the hook,” Adam says. “It’s too hot for the (owners) to go outside and the odors are coming up. That’s where we come in. We double the amount of deodorizer. It controls the flies as well. We have had people say they haven’t had flies since we’ve been coming.
“We’ve grown a lot in our three years. We’re blessed and grateful to be where we are today.”