Dog Walking Regulations Go Into Effect July in San Francisco

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San Francisco, California – San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a dog-walker law in February 2012. The Board gave The Department of Animal Care and Control up to 18months to work out the details. Now the law is about to take effect. The new law, which goes into effect July 1, will require all dog-walkers to have licenses to do business.

The law requires that anyone walking four or more dogs have a permit which costs an initial $240 and $100 annual renewal fee. Dog-walkers cannot walk more than eight dogs at any time. Vehicles must have $1 million liability insurance and be inspected. Dog-walkers must undergo 20 hours of training or 40 hours of apprenticeship unless they have been in business for three or more years. Repeat failure to comply carries fines up to $1000 and a year in jail.

But not everyone is happy about the new requirements. Animal trainer Phoenix Asher Featherstone is threatening to file an injunction to block the law. Featherstone, previously known as Elisa Baker, has been part of groups blocking similar laws. She says she will be challenging the constitutionality of the new law because she claims it is based on a training model with which she disagrees.

Featherstone argues against the law claiming that dog-walkers should be able to walk up to 15 dogs at a time. She also says the fees should be on a sliding scale ranging up to $600 to make more money for city parks. She says the current law will mean that the city will lose thousands of dollars a year.

Featherstone says that the proposed law uses the SPCA model of training, not her own method which she calls “solely positive, food-based.” There is no official method other than one approved by the current Animal care and Control Director, The companies that have been approved to handle the training do employ the SPCA model.

Sally Stephens, president of dog owners association SF Dog and chairwoman of the Animal Control and Welfare Commission, disagrees with Featherstone, noting that anyone can suggest a training methodology or curriculum for approval.

4 thoughts on “Dog Walking Regulations Go Into Effect July in San Francisco”

  1. Seriously is this even for real??? What will the government think up next…here’s a thought pay a little – oh I don’t know – MORE attention to serious violations this ridiculous law. Stop the madness! *runs away laughing*

  2. Blame the absolute idiots who ruined it for everybody! Most of you dog walkers do the “job” to entertain yourselves. Your clients’ dogs couldn’t care less where they get walked. They’re’ DOGS! They CAN’T ENJOY THE SCENERY! YOU enjoy the scenery of restricted beaches and public parks, where dogs are PROHIBITED from running off-leash. And your clients are just as retarded, regarding their dogs as their “kids”. PATHETIC! Have a human child in your home, and keep you dog in the yard in a doghouse! What? No yard or doghouse? Then you are guilty of animal cruelty, for your own personal gratifications. Dog behavioral problems are caused by the inadequate attention paid to the dogs by their ridiculous owners. If you don’t OWN a HOUSE, and you have a dog larger than 15 lbs., then you should have your head examined. Hiring a dog-walker just makes the dog regard you less as the “master” and more as its “slave”, feeding it and picking up after it. The dog-walker is their real “master”. Boy howdy, don’t you and I both wish we had a human providing such services to us for the same price! The new law is right and just. There are too many dogs in this city, more than children! The city can really clean-up with these new fees, and now just might be able to pay a Park Policeman to enforce the off-leash laws in city parks without dog run areas.

  3. Just today my kids and I were at the beach enjoying the day.
    There was a man who was close by and came to the beach
    For a little exercise . Politely he asked I’m going to run some
    Timed relays with myself am into close? No I replied thanks for
    Asking. He drew a line in the sand with his foot took around fifty
    Paces and drew another and walked back to his stuff to remove
    His shoes. Before he could finish a dog runs up from the water
    Side and 200 plus yards away from the owner as they kept walking.
    Just to squat and poop right where the guy was going to run.
    The dog ran back to the owner who I might say never looked
    To see where the dog ran to. I said to the guy that beats all
    Man! I’m just going to move over , even if they wanted to
    Pick it it’s just a brown liquid so they couldn’t have. There is a
    Leash law for that area of the beach. I have had to train the
    Dogs in my sf neighborhood to keep them of my yard. If you go
    To costco you can buy cyane pepper in one pound containers .
    Ok folks here’s what you do. Leave about four or five poops that
    Accumulated on your lawn for that week this will be step one.
    Step two apply cyane pepper around the poop because the dogs
    Will for sure lick if and stick there nose in it as dogs do and later
    Rub there nose and lick their owners lips. Apply cyane pepper to
    Edge of your yard and let the magic happen it may take a few days
    But you will here the yelps from within your home. It’s a great
    Training method. It takes each dog one try and they will bar
    Getting near your yard. In fact the owner might have to
    Drag them past your home.


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