Pet owners, Gilbert employees and "Captain Doo" will be getting some donated help between Christmas and New Year's Day at Cosmo Dog Park.
A locally based franchise of Pet Butler, which bills itself as "the nation's leading pet waste cleanup service," will be scooping up the four fenced acres where the town's best friends run and swim to their hearts' content.
Pet Butler owner Sandy Aaron began the tradition last year to celebrate the park. It was named one of the nation's top dog parks by Dog Fancy magazine, just a year after it opened.
"It was in honor of the award," she said. "We want to help it continue to be one of the best dog parks again, and one way to do that is having it be clean and pristine."
Dog mess pickup has occasionally been as an issue for the park on Ray Road just off Loop 202. The difficulty of enforcing the town's "Pick up after your Dog" rules helped spur a push to give park rangers more authority and Gilbert produced two "Captain Doo" public service announcements for its Channel 11, which are now posted on YouTube.
"No matter how often you drill it into their heads, people don't pick up after their dogs," said Aaron, who set up shop in April 2007.
Aaron said she's working longer hours now than she ever did for 20 years in corporate America. But she's having a ball in the process. "I can't believe how happy I am with my business. I have to pinch myself," she said.
Aaron has three employees, and she said she was a little saddened to receive 175 applications for her last job opening. The business cleans about 200 residential yards, HOA properties, apartment complexes and a few commercial properties, especially those patrolled by dogs at night.
She hopes to someday be able to win contracts for parks around the East Valley, and Cosmo would clearly be the mother lode. Officials estimate it gets more than 600,000 human visitors annually, and the grass has been replaced more than once.
A town spokeswoman said Gilbert officials are grateful for the help their maintenance staff has been getting from Pet Butler, which also donates its services to animal rescue organizations and special events.
"Generosity comes in many forms." Lucas said.