Doggie Time Share

Jackpot- FlexpetzNowadays, you can share a vacation home, a car and now a dog. Flexpetz allows people that cannot own a dog on a full-time basis the opportunity to spend time with a dog whenever they want. (Fur real?) All of the Flexpetz dogs (Jackpot, pictured here) are rescue dogs and go through a full training program, so they understand commands and can adapt to various environments.

Members pay a monthly membership fee and a daily doggy time charge when you schedule time with a Flexpetz dog. Flexpetz members can spend time with any available dog anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Currently, Flexpetz is available in San Diego and Los Angeles and is planning to expand nationwide.

13 Responses to “Doggie Time Share”

  1. Lynn says:

    Excellent idea. I mean it, it is. Especially for those who travel or are away from home a lot. I travel a lot on business and borrow my friends’ 3 dogs as time permits. They feel like they’re going on vacation [I spoil them rotten], my friends get a chance to take a mini-vacation themselves, and me - well I get the best part of the deal; blood pressure goes down, I’m smiling 24/7……..

  2. CathyA says:

    I use to “borrow” pets when people went out of town! Then, it wasn’t enough! I think there are some hotels that have “bed” cats that go with the room!.

  3. Sam says:

    Hmmm. This is great for the people who want a sometimes dog… and good these dogs are brought back to health from being homeless…but what about the dogs in the long term? If they were avaiable for adoption it would make sense. I feel bad for the dogs who are part of this program who basically will spend their lives where? Where are these animals when they’re not being a “convenient” companion for someone they will never see again? Dogs are pack animals and bond with their families…who will these dogs have as a family in the long run- when they’re old or sick, etc? This is basically taking a dog and turning them into a life-long shelter animal–even if its a fancy shelter with the perks of vacations.

    At least that’s all I could figure from the website. Also, how much of a background check is done on the people taking them for a weekend? They want business, doesn’t say anything about looking into your records or anything….someone could want a dog for a day to take out their aggression or use as a fashion boost for their outfit that day without being nice to the dog at all…

    The whole thing just made me a little sad… for the dogs. Unless I”m totally mistaken and they live with a permanent owner who lets them be “rented” out like this on occassion.

  4. AM says:

    Sam..

    I read this article and thought just about the same thing(as far as the dogs and being pack animals). What about the dogs? I have personally seen dogs go depressed over family leaving(sister broke up with long time BF, now dog thinks she is going to disappear to and has been having bad behavior when she leaves home). Just a move to a new home with family intact can be stressful for most pets.

  5. AM says:

    *too

    Sorry, I had typo and I don’t see an edit feature.

  6. Aghast says:

    This idea originated in Beverly Hills, CA. Need I state the obvious? This is a very sad way to exploit dogs. Canines are indeed pack animals - meaning family. Canines do suffer stress issues, and being with total strangers in an unfamiliar place does create stress on them. Who knows what diseases, parasites, etc. the animals are exposed to while they are in the “care” of a stranger. Suppose an emergency vet situation arises? Would the “renter” know what to inform a vet of as per health issues on one of these animals? Or would the “renter” even bother to take the animal to a vet in an emergency? Some people would, some wouldn’t. How do you tell these type people apart? You can’t. This is not a humane way to generate income. To see and be seen is fun I’m sure, but the dogs need to be left out of this “fashion” crime.

  7. Ruth says:

    Is this where stars and pop stars rent their dogs? Use them as a fashion accessory during a red carpet runway. This is a sick idea and business. Don’t care if you disgree.

    Dogs need a full time family, not to be rented out like a piece of property.

    The things people do to animals. It never ceases to amaze and sicken me.

  8. Ann Marie says:

    My puppy is a time share puppy. She showed up under our apartment’s mailboxes last week. I’m the one who has technically taken her in (I’m financially responsible for her), but since I have a couple of neighbors who are home during the day, they take care of her while I’m at work. We have a board on the door to show who she’s with at any time. It gives here a bigger family and keeps her from being left alone for long stretches.

  9. kaefamily says:

    Rent a dog! How sad! I used totake my friend’s dogs on my daily run. I have my own dog now. Still, I sometimes walk both dogs. It is more of an extended family I have developed with my friend than ‘let me borrow your dog for a time’ deal. Dogs are not fashion accessories. They need permanent home life.

  10. Is Rent-A-Dog A Good Idea? | Itchmo says:

    […] Flexpetz, a for-profit company, is offering dog “ownership” to people who may not be ready for the commitment dogs require. The dogs come from rescues and are available for rent in San Diego and Los Angeles for a fee. […]

  11. Barbara says:

    Ann Marie that is “It takes a village to raise a Pup” and you should all be so proud that is probably the happiest dog in town. he gets different stimulation from everyone and so much love. He hit the puppy lottery! The world needs more people like you and your neighbors. Call CNN we need more good news!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Grace Bizzarro says:

    Is there a way to put this company out of business. I thought there was a law against flesh peddling in this country, be it human or canin. What a horrible experience for these animals. Who looks after them when they are not rented. Who in their right mind alloewed this company to have a liscence. Or do they. What happens the fogs if they accidentaly pee on an expensive rug or one of the brats in a house bites their ear off, or, the pup bites back in self defense. As a person who spent years in foster care, (rent a kid) I remember the trauma when do gooders would take us for Christmas dinner,Just to make them feel good. Then it was back to the shelter at night. I was confused till I bacame old enough to understand it. I can imagine how these poor confused animals must feel. Here today and gone tomorrow.

  13. Ruby says:

    FlexPetz bites! And so do even well-mannered dogs who are stressed–say, after being passed from renter to renter. Any animal behaviorist will tell you that!! Have self-absorbed renters thought about the financial as well as physical consequences? Personal injury attorneys cast a wide net. They’ll sue the renter as well as FlexPetz.

    But there are even more compelling reasons to rent cars, not dogs.

     Dogs require consistency and routine; they deserve a stable, loving home. Rental dogs are passed from human to human, spending all their time between assignments in doggie day care, where they learn to bond with the pack, not a potential future owner. How adoptable will they be when FlexPetz is done with them?

     FlexPetz suggests it “rescues” shelter dogs. Obviously, the most rentable dogs are the most adoptable. DUH!! Do you really think FlexPetz takes timid, old or “homely” shelter dogs, who wouldn’t command its hefty rental fee? Or does it skim the adorable, friendly and “trendy” dogs it can readily rent—who otherwise would have had the best chance for adoption? Do the math.

     Dogs form bonds in as little as 24 hours, says animal behavior expert Ray McSoley. Constantly breaking those bonds by passing dogs from renter to renter is cruel—and conditions them to distrust humans. That reduces the chance they’ll be good pets when FlexPetz is done with them. What then? Dumped in a shelter again, older, more confused….and less adoptable than before.

     What happens to the formerly stable dog who bites after being passed around? What about the rental dog who becomes chronically ill? No business can hold onto excess inventory and survive. FlexPetz indeed is a business, dogs its only inventory. How many people will adopt rental dogs who have become sick, old or unstable? The “lucky” ones will spend their lives in no-kill shelters.

     FlexPetz encourages humans to think of dogs as disposable commodities—things people can enjoy for a short time and then give back, like DVDs or cars. And we all know how renters treat those. FlexPetz has to foster this mindset in order to profit. Over time, it can only lead to an increase in animal abandonment and abuse. As if there weren’t already too much.

     Dog rentals and racing, dog fighting and puppy mills support each other’s success: They all trade on desensitization of humans, commoditization of animals. And we can’t end one without ending them all.

    How can you keep this callous business from continuing on its fast track?

    1) Lobby your city council, state reps and other local pols to keep FlexPetz out of your city and state.

    2) Counter the spin. FlexPetz has an aggressive, very effective PR machine, with puff pieces already reported by AP, Boston Globe, CBS Early Show, CNN–to name just a few—and blogs of every stripe. Spin can’t go unchallenged; many smart people who profess to love dogs think FlexPetz is a great idea until told why it’s not. So tell them!

     When you see print coverage, write a letter to the editor.

     If it’s a broadcast report, call the news director and insist the station present a counterpoint from a qualified animal behaviorist, vet or animal welfare organization.

     Google FlexPetz and challenge posts by rental-dog supporters—who may be hired bloggers.

     Urge your local ASPCA or Humane Society to educate the public about the reality of dog rentals. These organizations ask for your money to prevent animal exploitation, not just react to it; make them do their jobs.

    In Boston, FlexPetz’ next target city, that would be: the Animal Rescue League of Boston (Jay Bowen, President, 617-226-5680), MSPCA (Carter Luke, President, 617-522-5055), Buddy Dog Humane Society (Laurie Lincoln, Executive Director, 978-443-6990) and local shelters and rescues (get contact info on petfinder.com).


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