It's about a company called FlexPetz - a company that lets you "rent" dogs for a certain period of time. It's geared to people who don't have the time or resources to keep a pet full-time, but still want to enjoy some of the benefits of having an animal.
In early 2007, Marlena Cervantes founded FlexPetz, a pet-sharing service that allows members to rent out dogs for a few hours or days at a time. Since then the small business—the first of its kind in the U.S.—has expanded rapidly from San Diego and opened branches in Los Angeles, Manhattan, and, most recently, in London. The company's website lists plans to open soon in San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, and Paris, France.
But in recent weeks, lawmakers have begun taking steps to ban a practice critics call emotionally harmful to the animals.
It's an interesting concept. What do you think? I'm not sure. I can see some positives, especially because I'm a huge pet lover and I've been in positions where I have been unable to own one (for example, in college - I missed having cats sooo much). However, I can also see the negatives - what type of emotional affect does this have on the pet? What's the focus of the company - making money or really providing the service? Who takes care of the dogs' vet bills and makes sure they are healthy? How do you guard against possible abuse?
It seems, though, that laws are being passed to prevent FlexPetz from operating in certain cities in the U.S. (like Boston, for example). It seems this might be the end of the company:
"In response to inquiries from NEWSWEEK about the effect the legislation will have on FlexPetz growth, CEO and founder Cervantes said that as a result of the recent legislation, she has decided to "shelve" operations in the US and London, and that each pet in all FlexPetz locations will be offered to a renter for adoption."
Interesting things to ponder. Thanks, Joanna!
A dog for a day? Lawmakers take action against "pet rental" companies
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