Colorado is a state known for its entrepreneurial spirit, but sometimes the letter of the law can kill that spirit with red tape. That’s what founder of Rover.com Lisa Jacobson found out when she attempted to make some extra money by setting up pet owners with qualified pet-sitters in their area.
Business was going along smoothly for Jacobson until she received a visit from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Jacobson was informed that a large kennel in the area had issued a complaint and that Jacobson would need to register her service as a commercial kennel to keep up operations. Due to limited income and resources, Jacobson was forced to halt operations.
Now Jacobson and others have their sights set on the Capitol, and the support of Colorado House Bill 1228. The law seeks to re-legalize online pet-sitting services by creating separate licensing requirements for online pet-sitting services and not requiring kennel licensing if the agency in question in watching 3 or fewer pets at any given time.
Legislation will seek to legalize a practice where most people don’t question its legality, like ride-sharing service legislation from 2014. Jessica Brick worked as a dog-sitter for Rover.com for the extra income, but had no idea that the simple practice was illegal. “It’s ridiculous,” said Jacobson about the current code. “Why should it be regulated by the government like it is now? If I don’t take good care of peoples’ pets, they wouldn’t bring them back tome.”
Rover.com, along with other similar businesses such as DogVacay and Fetch allow people to get connected to services online for typically a cheaper price than people can find with a registered or licensed kennel. Existing kennels oppose the bill because they are forced to spend hundreds on licensing and must follow strict regulatory guidelines.
This bill is scheduled its hearing before the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee shortly, and the bill is likely to draw support from both sides of the political aisle. “It’s just this issue of more antiquated regulatory statues running into the sharking economy.” Said Rover.com’s attorney Sarah Clark.