Colorado lawmakers moved to allow online pet-sitting platforms to operate legally in this state on Thursday, despite concerns from kennel operators that doing so could endanger pets or put existing facilities out of business.
House Bill 1228 — sponsored by Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver and Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain — would change current law that requires anyone who boards another person’s pet for money to be licensed. It would allow online platforms like Rover.com and DoggyVacay that link pet owners to potential pet watchers to operate and would limit such contract sitters to no more than three pets at a time.
Such websites are a growing part of the so-called "sharing" economy, emerging along with ride-sharing services such as Uber and short-term-home-rental sites like Airbnb to give people an alternative to long-time business models like taxis or hotels. They also have helped to develop what is known as the “gig economy” — an economic atmosphere in which people can eschew full-time jobs and cobble together sufficient incomes with multiple part-time gigs.
“I have nothing against kennels or home boarding,” Pabon said before the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted to advance the bill to the House Finance Committee by a 9-3 margin. “What I do have something against is archaic statutes that don’t allow the sharing economy to grow and flourish in the way it can.”