Colorado lawmakers push to legalize online pet-sitting services

DENVER -- Pet owners may have some more choices when it comes to pet-sitting. Colorado is trying to update a law that makes it illegal to accept money for watching your pets. 

As of now, the kid down the street or the pet sitter online needs a state license to watch Fido. Some lawmakers want to change that and moved one step closer to making online platforms like Rover.com, DogVacay, Fetch and PetSitters legal in Colorado. Those companies link up sitters with pet owners and up until Thursday, it wasn't exactly legal.

"I have a peace of mind taking my dog to a daycare that is licensed and I can get on there and check out the webcam and check out my dog on there," said dog owner Josh Wright.

Just like the state regulating ride-sharing services, lawmakers now are making these online platforms part of the law.

"My pet-sitters aren't regulated, they’re friends. I don't know, it seems to work for Uber," said another dog owner, Erica Richard.

But Not everyone's on-board. Several local dog daycares attended the hearing at the capitol on Thursday.

Angelique Moyer was one of those who went to the hearing. She owns U Lucky Dog Daycare and is the president of the Colorado Association of Dog Daycares.

She believes the proposed bill, HB 1228, doesn't protect pets. Instead, she feels, it actually puts more money in the pockets of the platform.

"Because they are on this platform, they do not have to be regulated.”

Traditional kennels or daycares have many rules to follow. Moyer told Denver7 her employees know pet CPR and are trained to understand dog behavior.

"How many dogs can co-mingle in a group, the ratio of employees to dogs, how long a dog can stay in a crate. These pet-sitters aren't going to be held to that law," said Moyer.

Rover.com describes its vetting process for prospective pet-sitters, as including background checks and manual reviews.

From a job standpoint, it gives people an alternative to a full-time job and another source of income.

"I’m all for the little guy, I just want the dogs to be safe," said Moyer.

Pet-sitters with Rover.com must be at least 18-years-old and have no previous felonies involving animals.

A spokesperson for Rover told Denver 7 the following:

“People have been watching their neighbor pets since pets came to be. Rover simply makes it safer, local and more affordable, with insurance and trust & safety teams. Many of our sitters specialize in certain breeds, disabled, nervous or elder dogs, or simply those owners preferring personalized home care to the mass care approach. “

Denver7 will keep you updated on where the bill goes next.

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