In San Francisco, CA there is a debate going on. Should dog walkers be licensed? It would be a way to regulate the industry plus a way to generate some much needed income for the city.
In 2007 politicians looked into the matter due to reports of lost dogs, verbal abuse, dogs being left in vehicles in the heat, all while being under the care of dog walkers. Unfortunately the issue fell by the wayside, as many issues do.
Due to major budgetary cuts to San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department the issue is back on the table.
As an industry that has long operated with little oversight, there is considerable debate over what regulations would have the most positive impact and who should enforce them. According to Nancy Stafford, co-director of Pro Dog, many dog walkers would prefer to be licensed through Animal Care and Control, which is already responsible for issuing canine licenses as well as providing guidelines for professional walkers.
Rec and Park owns the majority of land that dog walkers use and profit from (with fees that average $15 to $25 per walk) and sees the potential licensing proposal as a way to recoup some of its routine maintenance expenses. The details of how it would be enforced have not yet been fully worked out, says Lisa Seitz Gruwell, department spokesperson.
Seeing as anyone can call themselves a dog walker having some regulation for the dog walking industry does seem like a good idea. If someone is going to be walking your beloved pup wouldn’t you want to know they have some credentials besides the ad they posted on Craig’s List ? That there are certain rules to conform to in order to keep their license.
As I read this article I wonder if the issue of licensing is money motivated or a concern for the dogs? Should they be licensed through the Rec and Park Department or Animal Care and Control? Give me a bark, let me know what you think.