de Blasio Administration is Barking-Up the Wrong Tree on Fines for Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters

Assemblywoman Nicole Mallliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, held a Tuesday morning news conference at a Battery Park City Dog Run to discuss New York City’s recent crackdown on pet caretakers, including dog walkers and dog sitters. Malliotakis said, that de Blasio administration was, “barking up the wrong tree, as this is just another one of the taxes, fees, and permits that make New York a more expensive place to live and has a negative effect on a wide range of New Yorkers, from teenagers to the elderly, that make a few extra bucks caring for man’s best friend and cats, too.”

The New York City Department of Health requires licensing for, “a facility other than an animal shelter where animals not owned by the proprietor are sheltered, harbored, maintained, groomed, fed, or watered in return for a fee is required to obtain a permit from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). In addition to making the care of pets more expensive, this crackdown will put out of business those individuals who supplement their income by walking or dog sitting neighbor’s pets. These pet caretakers often include the elderly neighbor in your apartment building, the teenager from your block who walks dogs after school or the struggling artist or musician who cares for other people’s pets to help make ends meet.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “It’s no secret that New Yorkers love their pets, especially their dogs and cats. But, like everything in New York, the costs of owning a 4 legged friend keeps climbing every year. Recently, the New York City Department of Health has been cracking down on pet caretakers who look after dog and cats when the owner is at work, out for a night on the town or on vacation. These are pet caretakers, who often look after a small number of pets for a reasonable fee and who find clients through word of mouth or with a note posted on a bulletin board in your apartment buildings mailroom or at the local pet store or veterinarians office. More and more these individuals are listing their services on pet care websites which make them easy targets for enforcement by the Health Department which can issue fines that start a $1,000 dollars.

“This law targets individuals who are making a few extra dollars to make ends meet, while providing needed and caring services for our pets; that’s wrong and it needs to change!
“This law, like many on the books in our city, is ill conceived, outdated and has a negative financial impact on both pet owners and pet caretakers. This is just one of the many laws that will be reviewed and fixed when I become mayor. Others include:

Cabaret License – Any room, place, or space in New York City in which patron dancing is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or a business that sells food and/or beverages to the public requires a Cabaret license.

Dunk Tanks – A person is guilty of a ‘offensive exhibition’ if they operate Dunk Tanks

Fortune telling is illegal in New York – fortune telling is still a crime in New York City.

Puppet shows – Section 10-114 of the city administrative code cracks down on those who use any window or open space of any house . . . [for] any performance of puppet or other figures. The penalty for perpetrating puppetry is up to a $25 fine and 30 days in jail.

“I know, that if the dogs surrounding me today could talk they would tell Bill de Blasio and the city to leave our caretakers alone.”