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(If you go to the actual site--I couldn`t get the link to come up--it looks like a dobie :emo10: )

Rent-a-dog for people too busy to own a pet
Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:20PM EDT


Power. Price. Service. No Compromises.NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For busy people longing for the companionship of a pet but unable to care for one full-time, renting a dog may provide a solution.

Man's best friend can be rented for periods ranging from a day to a week, or adopted, through Flexpetz, a Wilmington, Delaware-based company which has 10 dogs on its books.

Marlena Cervantes, the founder of Flexpetz, got the idea for the project while working as a behavioral therapist with autistic children whom she encouraged to pet dogs to provide a sensory input.

"I developed it as a way to share ownership of my personal dogs with my client families," Cervantes said in an interview.

"I was urged and motivated to make it available to the general population because several of my colleagues had expressed a desire to own dogs and an inability to do so."

The rental service, which Cervantes started in March 2007, is available in Los Angeles and San Diego. Over the next six months she plans to expand to New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C. and London.

For a monthly membership fee, an annual account maintenance charge, a one-time payment for the mandatory introduction session and daily costs, members can rent a pooch.

A trainer explains how to take care of the dog during the introductory session.

But not everyone agrees that renting dogs is a good idea.

"Flexpetz is a business so it's out to make money, but we believe it does so at the expense of the psychological well-being of the animals it uses to make a profit," said Daphna Nachminovitch, a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Norfolk, Virginia.

"Animals are not video games. They are individuals with personalities and quirks and needs and they all share the need of needing stability and one consistent place to call home," she added in an interview.

Cervantes admits that renting is not suitable for all dogs but said her animals are extremely happy.

"We carefully select the dogs for temperament and personality and we make sure that they are highly social dogs ... when they go out on the weekend it's like going home with a favorite aunt and uncle."



© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.
 

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What is this world coming to? This is just animal cruelity. How can you have well-balanced dogs when they are always being passed around. Too many red flags to see any benefits for dogs. Just not right.
 

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Depends on the breed

I guess it depends on the breed, but this could be a way to keep dogs out of shelters. If people take a trial run with a dog and find they don't like one in thier life... it might prevent people from just running out and getting one. I can't imagine there is a huge market for this though.
 

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What is this world coming to? This is just animal cruelity. How can you have well-balanced dogs when they are always being passed around. Too many red flags to see any benefits for dogs. Just not right.
I wouldn't call it cruelty. Is it the best thing for most dogs, probably not, but is it better than euthanasia, I would think so. I think it's a good way to help find a home for a dog. I think they should have worded the ad differently, I don't think they should have aimed it towards people who don't have time for a real pet, but instead towards people who would like a pet, but are not sure if it is right for them. When I was a kid and we got our first dog my mom wasn't to happy about it, she had never had a dog before, and she didnt paticularly like them, well in no time she fell in love with him so much that she wanted to keep one of his puppies when he was bred. Those two dogs changed her life. So I think the way that was worded isn't right, but i think what they are doing is good. I doubt they rent dogs out for years and years, i bet, unless its a problem dog (which usually wont get put up for adoption anyway), then those dogs probably never see more than 3 or 4 "renters", but probably less. Personally i think its a good way to turn people on to dogs, and in this case possably save the dogs as well.
 
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