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posted: 9/19/2013 2:28 PM

Here's the scoop on poop convention in Rosemont

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It's not everyday a convention on poop comes to Rosemont.

Here's the scoop: the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists, also known as aPaws, kicks off its 11th annual Pooper Scooper convention Friday at the Best Western At O'Hare, 10300 W. Higgins Road.

The highlight of the convention, which wraps up Sunday, is a "turd-herding" contest in which professional "pooper scoopers" compete to find out who is the fastest in the nation. During the event, competitors will race to see who in two minutes can pick the most fake dog poops placed around the grounds of the hotel. The top three finishers receive a trophy and bragging rights.

The primary goal of the convention is to provide continuing education for professional animal waste specialists nationwide.

This year's guest speakers include William Hadley, founder and CEO of BioPro Research, who will be speaking on "zoonotic diseases," and Brian Basilico, owner of B2b Interactive Marketing, who will talk about marketing through social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube.

Kandra Witkowski of The Pooper Scoopers, Inc., will moderate a two-hour marketing round table, sharing some of her strategies and leading a group discussion.

The nonprofit aPaws has hosted this convention since its formation in 2002. The group raises money to help provide pet air masks to fire departments and emergency medical services personnel. For more information on pet recovery masks or to support the group's efforts, visit

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