PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A Phoenix man invented a device to end an age-old problem for cat owners: dealing with those stinky litter boxes.
Even better, his device also creates jobs for valley veterans.
People may love their kitty-cats, but those litter boxes..
"Uhh.. it smells.. like it or not, it does smell.."
"It's awful, but you love the cats anyway, so you put up with it."
Entrepreneur Dwayne Baker felt the same way.
"I got tired of the smell. I got tired of waking up in the mornings and just the overwhelming smell of the litter box and my wife loves the cats," he said.
In his case, necessity was indeed the motherhood of invention. Three years ago, Baker sat down with his mom, Birdie, also an inventor, with one goal in mind: taking the P-U out of cat litter boxes. The Purr-ifier was born, and is now manufactured at Baker's company, DNKB Inc. in Phoenix.
The marketing and sales are purring along on the company's website.
The key, says Baker, is the smell never leaves the litter box. He says lab testing backs it up.
"We're actually taking the ammonia vapor and all the bacteria smells and pulling them up into the fan and into the filter instead of letting them ooze out the front," explained Baker.
The Purr-ifier sells on the company's website and on Amazon for about $30 and filters run about $15. Baker expects the cost to come down considerably as he markets and makes new agreements as he shops it to new partners.
He says he's very proud of this invention, but is perhaps prouder that he managed to keep the manufacturing in Arizona, using mostly veterans to assemble, though there was pressure to ship many aspects of the Purr-ifier overseas.
"I've said since the beginning we want to provide jobs. It's no lip service. This is something we really want to do because veterans, Americans, deserve jobs. We don't deserve to have our jobs shipped overseas just to save a couple of pennies here and there," said Baker.
So in this building in Ahwatukee, the Purr-ifier is assembled using mostly products made in Arizona. There are many other assembly contracts under way here as well.
Baker, a high school drop out who then joined the Army, wants his story to be an inspiration to others -- be they high school drop outs, veterans or inventors.
He hopes to continue growing DNKB Inc. into a manufacturing and assembly force in the valley -- and that smells like success.