February 8, 2018 Photos by: Dog Parker
Dog Parker is a Brooklyn, NY startup that created climate-controlled dog houses and placed them outside of stores for people to ‘park’ their pets while they were inside shopping. Conveniently called Dog Parkers, the company grows quickly, with 40 dog houses outside of Brooklyn stores and over a thousand customer accounts.
But the city’s Department of Transportation isn’t so fond of the idea, and notified the company they’d be removing the dog houses from the sidewalks.
Chelsea Brownridge is a co-founder of Dog Parker and said that if they are unable to get to a resolved agreement with the city they’ll move their headquarters and manufacturing facility out of the city. They are already planning to put the dog houses in three new, unnamed cities.
Brownridge said the city’s issue with the dog houses is that they are not in compliance with Department of Transportation regulations, even though she says she’s been trying to get with the city to ensure they were. Brownridge says that the city has not replied to her years’ of attempts, until last fall. Now, the back-and-forth emails have ultimately resulted in the city saying they are not in compliance and must move the dog houses or they’ll be moved for them.
For their part, the city says that the houses create obstructions on the public property sidewalks and that’s an issue.
Dog owners are divided in their feelings about what some call ‘prison cells’ for dogs. While some view it as a viable option for urban pet owners to keep their dogs safe, others see it literally isolating their dogs on the street for random passersby to gawk out, all with the push of a connected button.
Brownridge is undeterred, though. She hopes they can still come to a reconciliation with the city but says they have other places and cities that are hopping for them to go, so they’ll do so if needed.
Lori Ennis is a wife, mama and friend to all animals. A self-confessed “Hot Mess,” she lives wherever the Marine Corps takes her husband. Currently, that’s Maryland with her very spoiled Labrador Retriever-mix rescue pups and a ton of saltwater fish just tanking around. Lori’s family has fostered dogs for years, mostly Golden Retrievers, and knows no home is complete without an animal buddy (or seven)!