Why Us?

Some people make change happen, even when it is not the most popular idea.

Fotolia_8491765_XS[1] (2)

We drafted a business plan based on the facts.

Our vision.

Janet’s philosophy from inception was to solve the problems created by some very unscrupulous dog walkers that have not placed enough emphasis on safety of the dogs in their care.  Sources, such as the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Animal Care and Control, have reported that dogs have been lost and killed while in the care of dog walkers.

We did our homework before we opened our doors.

After examining the issues facing dog walkers, Janet concluded that risk could be significantly reduced, if better practices were put into place.  Reducing the number of dogs allowed in a dog walker’s pack, would make it less likely that the dog walkers would lose control over the pack. Likewise, crating the dogs in the vehicle not only keeps them safe from being trampled from other group members, but limits their ability to escape from the vehicle or being tossed about when the brakes are applied.

Problem solving.

Not a very popular idea with dog walkers, the San Francisco Supervisors decided that it was time to take charge of the situation and forcibly reduce the number of dogs allowed in a pack to just 8 dogs, or the dog walker would be penalized with stiff fines if disobeying the laws going into effect July 1, 2013.

Here is what Animal Care and Control says:*

  • All Dog Walkers must have a valid San Francisco Business License
  • Dog Walkers must have $1 million General Liability Insurance
  • Dog Walkers are limited to 8 dogs in the city parks and 6 dogs in the GGNRA.
  • Dog Walkers must demonstrate that they have had proper training.
  • Dog Walkers must pay annual fees to use parks & beaches $240.00 + $375.00
  • Vehicle must contain a first aid kit, water, a barrier between driver and dogs, proper ventilation and be inspected. Dogs must be crated or tied down.
  • Dogs cannot ride loose in the back of a truck, or in the front with driver.

We followed the law even before it was a law!     * for more details go to www.animalshelter.sfgov.org  for a link to the San Francisco Dog Walker Law

Animal Care and Control
Pet-friendly San Francisco apparently has some unfriendly dog walkers. Reports of dogs lost, verbally abused, left in poorly ventilated cars and found roaming city parks without a watchful eye are just some of the complaints The City’s Commission of Animal Control and Welfare has been increasingly receiving about professional dog walkers. The growing industry has long operated with little oversight. It remains unclear how many dog walkers work in San Francisco, but city officials and industry workers estimate at least 130 and maybe as many as 300. Commission chairman Richard Schulke said that after receiving complaints, it became clear regulations were needed. “Quite often they let the dogs go and they don’t watch them. They don’t pick up the poop,” Schulke said. Nancy Stafford, co-chairwoman of the Professional Dog Walkers Association, which has a membership of about 100 local dog walkers, said that dog walking “is a business that needs to be regulated just like any other business.” Stafford said that the industry has grown for reasons one might expect: There are more pet owners in The City. Part of the problem with dog walking is it’s something that a lot of people think they can do,” said Sally Stephens, chairwoman of San Francisco Dog Owner’s Group. “There’s a lot of knowledge you really should have to be a professional dog walker. It’s like being a nanny.” The proposed regulations include requiring a city-issued dog walking license costing between $100 to $200 annually. Other regulations include limiting the number of dogs walked at one time to eight, requiring insurance to cover dog injuries or loss of a dog and requiring dogwalkers to carry a dog first aid kit.The San Francisco Examiner

We created a standard of excellence.

Welcome to your Dog’s Future

Safe travel to and from the dog park is a must!  Dogs need to be transported securely, so there are no distractions for the driver. Dogs will automatically jump into the driver’s lap, hang out the window, beg for attention or treats, or jump around, bark and become agitated. Imagine multiple dogs loose in a truck, all with their own agendas!  What chaos!  Loading and unloading the dogs can also become a potential hazard  if the dogs are loose in the bed of a truck – they can escape while the next dog is being loaded into the back.  All it takes is a second, and they are out of the truck running in the street!

IMG_1224            IMG_1222

Safe Transport

In an accident, a loose dog can crash through the front windshield.  Or they might be thrown around inside, causing serious injuries, such as broken bones, which usually never fully recover to a pre-injury state.  If a medium (or larger) dog hurls through the air and slams into the driver from behind, it can push the driver into the windshield, causing an even more serious accident.  Even in the event of a small collision, doors can be thrown open, or passers-by may open a door to check to see if the driver is okay – letting the dogs escape – right into traffic, or they take off and transform from the beloved family pet into road kill in an instant.  And in the event someone should try to lend a helping hand to get the dogs out of the truck, if the dogs under stress, they may bolt. Or, if they are in pain, they may bite the rescuer. Crates are essential, to keep the ‘helpful’ at bay, as well as the dogs calm and under control at all times during travel to and from the dog parks.  When carrying multiple dogs, they should not be allowed to interfere with each other.  Even the friendliest dog may bite if it’s been stepped on.  Restraints can also cause problems in car crashes – as the dog can become severely injured or even strangled by the apparatus that is designed to keep them safe.

We care.

Owner, Janet Slissman says: “I love my job, and the dogs know it!”

Whether it’s off-leash adventures, in-home boarding, or personalized training, I go the extra mile. As a native San Franciscan, I am fortunate to have grown up in a Forest Hill district home, which included some wonderful dogs that provided years of hands on training. As a teen, I competed in AKC dog shows in both conformation and obedience trials and was awarded trophies and ribbons throughout the Northern California and Oregon show circuit.

I have studied canine behavior and training techniques through classes held at the San Francisco SPCA, where I regularly worked on shelter dogs and their behavior issues to improve their chances of finding and keeping good homes. I am designated an approved dog walker through the SFSPCA, which is limited to a small number of professionals that have achieved their dog walking certification. I am also listed on the Animal Care & Control Dog Walker List.

The dog walking industry has largely evolved over the years by charging clients low rates in order to attract large numbers into each walker’s pack. As Animal Care & Control has reported,this practice has led to many lost, killed and injured dogs.

Seeing a need for changes, I entered the dog walking field determined to make a difference. There are plenty of dog walkers with client’s that are unaware of the problems. My philosophy is that your dog will be treated as if it were my own dog. I am a certified dog walker; licensed, bonded & insured to operate a dog walking service in the City and County of San Francisco.