Supervisor proposes new rules for commercial dog walkers

October 18, 2011 12:35:25 PM PDT
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation today to regulate commercial dog walkers in the city.

The legislation would require such dog walkers to obtain a permit, pay an annual fee and walk no more than seven dogs at a time while using city property, among other regulations.

"Commercial dog walkers provide a critical service to the many San Franciscans with dogs," Wiener said in a statement. "This service must be carried out in a professional manner that respects city property and the other users of that property."

The legislation was crafted with the input of several groups, including the SPCA, Neighborhood Parks Council and a dog walkers' group.

Angela Gardener, of the San Francisco Professional Dogwalkers Association, said, "For the many professional dog walkers who are well-trained, who know how to care for dogs, and who respect the city property they use, this legislation will legitimate them and will require dog walkers who lack training or skills to get training."

Since he joined the Board of Supervisors in January, Wiener has taken the lead on dog issues in the city.

Earlier this year, he also proposed a resolution opposing a proposal by the National Park Service to reduce the size of off-leash areas for dogs at 21 sites in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

In April, the board voted 10-1 in favor of Wiener's resolution opposing the federal plan, which has not yet been finalized.

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