The Uber and Lyft of dog walking fight state oversight

Elaine S. Povich

All Connecticut state Rep. Kim Rose wanted was to make sure home-based “doggie day cares” followed the same health and safety rules as commercial kennels. It sounded deceptively simple.

But as soon as the Democrat introduced her bill in January, web-based pet care services such as Rover and Wag worked to exempt their business model from the bill. They feared that making their contractors subject to the same licensing and taxes as a commercial kennel would undermine their business.

Often referred to as the Uber and Lyft of the pet care industry, Rover and Wag contract with freelance dog walkers, pet sitters and in-home pet care workers. Those workers are linked up via the companies’ apps and sent to clients’ houses on demand. Very often, the workers keep pets in their own homes, sometimes during the day, sometimes overnight.

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