NYC Law Bans Pet Sitting, Causing Protest Among Pet Owners

Posted by Paige Cerulli

New York City residents who rely on pet sitting now have to find other options, thanks to a city law that is now being enforced. 

When you have a vacation coming up or know that you’ll be out of town for a few days, how do you ensure that your pets are cared for? Most pet owners turn to either boarding or pet sitters for short-term pet care while they’re away. But a little-known New York City law is threatening the pet sitting industry, and causing a major problem for pet owners.

The New York City Health Department’s rules actually ban a person, outside of a licensed kennel, from taking money in exchange for caring for an animal. The rules are comprehensive, banning people from boarding, feeding, or grooming animals for money without having a kennel license. Additionally, the rules stipulate that kennel licenses cannot be issued for private homes.

Labrador retriever with leash is waiting for walk.

The rules aren’t widely known, but the Health Department recently warned DogVacay.com that the site’s New York City users were breaking the law. DogVacay.com, which was bought by Rover, was asked to require that pet sitters confirm that they are licensed before being allowed to sign up for the system. The site has not made that change.

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The Health Department has begun to implement fines. At least two residents in NYC apartments were fined in November and December. Fines for caring for pets without a permit start at $1,000.

Many pet owners opt for pet sitting over kennel stays. Pet sitting is generally more affordable than boarding a pet, and hiring a pet sitter allows a pet to stay in the comfort of their own home. This is particularly advantageous for pets with anxiety, or for pets who don’t do well in busy kennel environments.

The NYC rules spell major difficulty for pet owners and pet sitters, alike. Pet sitting is a great way for pet lovers to bring in extra money on the side, without requiring the time commitment of a part-time job. Pet owners will also face the difficulty of finding alternative pet care options.

What do you think of the NYC law regarding pet sitters? Tell us in the comments below. 

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NYC Law Bans Pet Sitting, Causing Protest Among Pet Owners