Rent a dog? Are you serious? A recent debate in Boston brought an issue to the surface which was absolutely shocking to dog lovers. There are companies out there that rent dogs. Is this what America has come to? A dog is not a piece of furniture or a used car. To dog lovers everywhere the concept is as offensive as renting your children out. Dogs have feelings and emotions, and they form attachments very quickly. They’re also the type of animal that bonds with one master. Renting them out for an afternoon with a hotel visitor or someone who “isn’t sure” whether they want a dog or not is not okay for a number of different reasons.
To begin with, let’s examine the reasons why someone would want to rent a dog instead of adopting or buying one. Selfish motives abound. If you’re visiting and staying at a hotel, what could be the reason why you’d want to rent a dog? Maybe you miss your pet from home, but the rent-a-dog isn’t a replacement for him. In fact, the attention you pay to your temporary companion may cause him anguish and depression when he goes back to his kennel in the evening. Don’t scoff. Psychological problems are real issues with dogs. Where’s the nurturing and unconditional love come in?
The second issue is screening. If you’re running a rent-a-dog company with steady clients, you can probably set up a screening service and some type of training program, but what about hotels that offer dog rentals? How do they know when they hand over the leash that the person they’re giving it to won’t abuse the animal? That seems like a fairly callous risk to take. With a car or piece of furniture the renter would leave a credit card. Do dog rental agencies think that the dog’s well-being has a price tag attached to it? How much do they bill if a dog is beaten or abused by the renter?
There are those out there who claim that “dogs aren’t people” or “it doesn’t matter to them”, but real dog lovers know different. Anyone who closes the door and goes to work in the morning to the whimpers of a canine companion who just wants his master to stay home knows that it matters to the dog. Yes, dogs are social animals and some of them get along with everyone, but they need one person or one family to make them feel loved and safe at the end of the day. You don’t get that sleeping in a kennel and spending a few hours at a time with different masters and mistresses.
Bostonmade dog renting illegal with a City Council Ordinance. Other cities and states across the country have similar laws. The Humane Society declared it immoral and cruel. Therapeutic and seeing-eye dogs are matched with one owner whenever possible. It’s just not healthy for the dog to have it otherwise, and the person who spends only short periods of time with a dog is missing out on the rewarding experience of pet ownership. If you’re someone who rents dogs, next time you go to do it, think about adoption. There’s a dog out there that could use a real home, not a rented block of time.