Reported by Audree Steinberg:
No matter how much pet owners love their dogs, cleaning up after them is a not-so-lovable task. To make it easier, a Minnesota man and his 9-year-old son invented the Pooch Power Shovel.
Weighing a mere 4 ¼ pounds, the Pooch Power Shovel works by vacuuming dog-droppings. The waste is collected into a special biodegradable bag, making it unnecessary to clean the device. With a 22,000 rpm motor and a rechargeable battery, the Pooch Power Shovel can remove all dog waste, no matter its size or texture. The vacuum also works on any surface, including grass, gravel, concrete and carpet.
Tory Reynolds and his son, Connor, got the idea for this gadget in April of 2006, after they’d been up all night trying to invent a golf tee. Inspiration struck the next morning, when Reynolds heard local residents griping on a radio show about dog waste..
“After a whole winter in Minnesota, the snow melts and dog poop is everywhere. Everyone’s yards are messes. I turned to my wife and said, ‘I think I have a way to fix that!’” Reynolds told ABCNews.com.
He considered the difficulty of picking up dog waste. Since his mother has arthritis, and several of his family members have bad knees, Reynolds wanted to make it easier for his family and neighbors to clean their yards.
He immediately thought of a golf shag bag combined with a leaf blower that possessed sucking power. But he thought the container should be on the bottom of the device instead of on top, the opposite configuration of a conventional leaf blower.
Reynolds and son Connor soon began building prototypes, experimenting with different materials and equipment, including a pretzel container, a leaf blower and duct tape.
“It really was the best time, just inventing with him [Connor]. We just did it. There were no right or wrong answers. … He’s literally a co-inventor. He came up with great ideas at 4 and 5,” Reynolds said.
Despite the cost-efficiency in overseas production, Reynolds defied investors’ advice and chose to manufacture the Pooch Power Shovel in the United States. This made it hard to find investors, particularly in 2008, with the economic downturn.
“We just wanted to … keep it close to home,” Reynolds said.
The Reynolds’ device has not only caught the favor of the public. Big investors have changed their tune and are currently showing interest in the Pooch Power Shovel, Reynolds said. According to KSTP-TV, ABC’s Minneapolis/Saint Paul affiliate, 2,500 can be found in such stores as Cabela’s, Gordmans and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
“It’s been a bumpy road but we’re finally taking off,” Reynolds said.
It’s gone so well that Reynolds has another invention planned for next Christmas, but this time he’s working with his 8-year-old daughter, Taylor.
“The Power Shovel waited a year in the basement before we brought it to life,” said Reynolds. ”You should see the cool inventions we have down there, just waiting for the right time!”