Update on Dog Walker Legislation in San Francisco
A bill proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener to the Board of Supervisors would limit to eight the number of dogs that one walker could walk at any one time. The bill also requires all professional dog walkers to go through training, prove that their vehicles are safe for animal transport, obtain liability insurance, and pay for a business permit annually. A permit would cost $250 for the first year and $100 a year for each renewal. Licensed dog walkers would also be required to carry a leash for each dog they have out and carry a first aid kit. Both SF Dog, a local dog advocacy group, and the San Francisco Professional Dogwalkers Association support the measure. The legislation will be voted on by the board’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee on January 9th and it is expected to be sent to the full board for a vote.
The original proposal by Weiner capped the number of dogs per walker at a time to seven, but after feedback from dog walkers, the San Francisco Small Business Commission, and other Supervisors the cap was raised to eight. In addition dog walkers would be allowed to take one of their own dogs along with them as long as it is clearly identified. These regulations would apply to all of the city’s approximately 500 dog walkers, defined as a commercial dog walker with two or more dogs out at a time. Violations of the law would result in fines up to $500. The regulations would go into effect in October 2012.
World’s Oldest Dog Dies at Age of 26 in Japan
The world’s oldest dog, according to Guinness World Records, has died in Japan at the age of 26 years and eight months. Owner Yumiko Shinohara told the press at her home outside Tokyo, that Pusuke, a fluffy tan Shiba mix, died Monday after suddenly falling ill and refusing to eat. Shinohara told TV network FNN that she “would just like to thank him for staying alive so long.” Pusuke lived to the human equivalent of about 125 years old.
He was born April 1, 1985 and was awarded the title of world’s oldest living dog by the Guinness Book of World Records last December. As old as Pusuke was, he was not the oldest dog to ever live. Guinness records the oldest reliable age for a dog as 29 years, 5 months, for an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who died in 1939.
Lawsuit Questions Use of Therapy Dogs at Colleges
A federal lawsuit has been filed against the University of Nebraska at Kearney, alleging that employees unlawfully denied a student the chance to keep a therapy dog in her university-owned apartment to cope with depression and anxiety. The lawsuit claims that administrators violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing Brittany Hamilton’s request to allow her miniature pinscher, named Butch, to live with her.
Hamilton’s parents said that they trained Butch to place his paws on her shoulders to calm her down when he sensed a forthcoming anxiety attack. But the school said Butch would only be allowed if Hamilton’s doctor reported the dog was trained and certified as a service animal “as defined” by the ADA. But the ADA’s definition of service dogs explicitly rules out “dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support.” This lawsuit could change how schools across the country will handle such requests in the future.
Missing Dog Found Eight Years Later
An American Staffordshire terrier named Petunia who went missing from her home in Northern Virginia in 2003 was found and identified in Yuba County, CA in December. She was reunited with her family the Pruitts on the morning show “Fox and Friends” after an odyssey no one knows the details of! She was found in the Spenceville Wildlife Area by Meg Eden, a professional dog trainer from OR who was out working with her dogs. Eden took Petunia to the Yuba County animal shelter and they found her microchip, which led back to the family who had long given up hope of seeing her again. Petunia is now eleven years old and is in good health and good spirits.