Pet waste removal specialist finds and returns money to owner

By Helin Jung
Updated June 17, 2010 09:29 PM

Steve Wilson was on a routine call to a home in St. Louis, Mo. It was a regular May day in the yard of his client, Karen Linn. A regular day picking up dog poop, that is.

Wilson, 58, works for a company called DoodyCalls Pet Waste Removal, and as a waste management specialist, he was just going about his job picking up the droppings on Linn’s property. It all seemed rather normal, until he spotted something strange poking out of one of the piles of stool. Wilson inspected further, because all DoodyCalls employees are trained to look closely for signs of illness or worms.

“When I looked down, I’m like, ‘Why is there a bright green and pink color here?’” Wilson tells “I said, ‘Wait a minute,’ and moved it around. ‘That’s a $5 bill. A $20. Another $20. Two more five and three ones.’ There was $58 in there.”

Wilson gathered up all the bills (or pieces of bills), put them in a spare plastic bag he had in his car, and took them home to try and clean them off. Not before leaving a note for Linn, however, telling her that he wasn’t sure if she’d misplaced some money, and that he had found some in her golden retriever-standard poodle mix Fozzie’s poop.

When he got home, he handed over the bag of money, along with his soiled work clothes, to his wife, who takes care of the laundry. Wilson’s wife put the bills in a mesh laundry bag and washed them three or four times, enough to make sure that they were in good enough shape to return to Linn.

“It’s my job!” Wilson says about why he returned the money, most of which is still valid currency. “As tight as times are, I figure she could use the money as much as any of the rest of us. It was the way I was raised –you be honest, you do a diligent job. You return things that aren’t yours to the person it does belong to.”

Linn, for her part, was confused and surprised when she got Wilson’s note explaining that he’d found money.

“I had gone out of town, and if you leave change or money on the counter, your kids or husband will pick it up and take it,” Linn says. “I figured my husband must have taken it, and I didn’t think a second thing about it.”

When she discovered that it was her 3-year-old dog, she wasn’t so surprised. Fozzie has a history of eating things that aren’t meant to be eaten, like paper and, once, even an undergarment.

“He didn’t feel good, and we weren’t sure why. We had a series of x-rays done, and we weren’t certain what these little metal things were,” Linn says.

Linn’s husband took the x-rays to work, where a receptionist walked by and said, “Oh, that looks like a bra!” Fozzie had eaten the entire bra (no underwire) in one piece, and ended up passing it through his system in one piece.

“He’s a lucky dog,” Linn says. “The one good thing that can come out of this is that people should be very cognizant about what their pets eat. It’s an important thing to keep up, and now we do.”

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