Dog Walkers Face New Limits in the City

Rules about to get a bit tougher for dog walkers in the City.

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012  |  Updated 11:35 AM PDT
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Dog Walkers Face New Limits in the City

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This would be ok under the new restrictions.

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Dog walkers in San Francisco will soon be subject to regulations  given initial approval by the Board of Supervisors, including limiting  the number of dogs walked at one time in the city.
    The ordinance, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, requires dog  walkers to obtain a permit, sets basic standards for training and equipment  used in the job, and requires that no more than eight dogs be walked at one  time.

    It will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2013.     The board unanimously passed the legislation at Tuesday's meeting, but not until after extensive discussion between supervisors about  the limit on the number of dogs walked at once.
    Wiener's initial legislation proposed seven dogs, while the city's  Small Business Commission had recommended nine and San Francisco Animal Care  and Control had recommended six.
    Wiener said the ordinance was developed in coordination with the  various stakeholders and said it was "important for us to embrace and support  this industry" while "protecting our parks and other public property."
    He said eight was the right number because "we wanted to be  careful but not overly restrictive."
    However, Supervisor John Avalos proposed to lower the number to  six, citing the Animal Care and Control recommendation, while Supervisors  Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell said the board should make sure the city's  number matches that of the National Park Service, which is also studying the  issue and how it would affect the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
    After Avalos withdrew his proposal, Supervisor Carmen Chu -- who  jokingly said "I think one is my limit" -- then proposed lowering the number  to seven.
    That proposal failed, only getting the support of four  supervisors.
    The board then agreed to unanimously pass the legislation with the  limit at eight.
    The vote comes less than a week after the death of a baby bison in  Golden Gate Park, which was apparently caused by a small dog that got into  the enclosure.
    Park and zoo officials said last Wednesday, the dog somehow got  into the enclosure and apparently scared the bison, causing it to run into a  fence in the enclosure.
    The bison was later found dead from injuries it suffered in the  accident.
    Wiener said the incident shows "the need for having rules in  place" for the dog walkers.
    Wiener said he was told the incident involved a dog walker who had  five dogs and had let them off-leash near the bison enclosure.
    The dog walker, who has not been identified, was cited for animal  disturbance and failure to use a leash in a designated on-leash area, park  officials said.
    The dog walking legislation passed initially today will return in  front of the board next week for final approval.
 

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