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Recent Case of Missing Labradoodle Highlights Urgency of Dog Walker Regulations

In Dedham, Massachusetts, there’s a missing dog which local authorities believe highlights a broader concern. The root cause of missing dogs — believes these authorities — is the lack of dog walker regulations in the area.

Deni Goldman, Dedham’s dedicated animal control officer (ACO), has voiced her concern regarding pet care providers. According to NBC Boston, she firmly believes that further compliance regulations should be implemented to guarantee responsible pet care. In addition to this, owners should also educate themselves about their pet’s welfare, ensuring they place their animals in the care of responsible and trustworthy individuals.

Hunt for missing Labradoodle, Lola

A five-year-old Labradoodle named Lola has been missing for over a week after being under the supervision of a local dog walking company. During a trip to the Wilson Mountain dog park, Lola and five other dogs were allowed to run off-leash in defiance of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) rules. DCR has oversight of parks and establishes guidelines for acceptable dog park behavior.

Dedham Animal Control urges anyone with any information regarding Lola’s whereabouts to call 781-751-9300.

Missing dog is part of a larger pattern of events

As per WBZNewsRadio, Goldman notes that the lack of dog walker regulations “seems to be putting out pet dogs in unsafe situations.”

For the past four months, Dedham Animal Control has dealt with a string of unfortunate dog incidents. In each case, the animal in question was under the care and custody of a dog service provider — whether it be a dog walking service or a boarding facility.

“All of these incidents were 100% preventable,” ACO Goldman stated. “At a minimum, there are two critical steps to combatting this recurring issue. The first is instilling a sense of compliance and responsibility with these business practitioners.” She continued, “The second is educating dog owners on how to ensure the person or business caring for their dog is providing ethical, trained and responsible services.”

Legislation for doggie daycares and boarding facilities

Beacon Hill has been in discussions about “Ollie’s Law,” a bill that intends to create guidelines for doggie daycare and boarding facilities. However, it’s worth noting that the legislation has not included dog walkers as of now.

Despite the Massachusetts SPCA’s efforts to raise awareness, there is currently no statewide regulation for breeders and dog boarding facilities. The MSPCA further asserts that kennel regulations vary from one town to another.

While the fate of the lost pup remains unknown, Dedham is rallying behind its community of dog lovers to establish much-needed regulations to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

In November, ACO Goldman intends to conduct an informational training session at the Dedham Public Safety Building. The event is specifically designed for local businesses in the dog industry. During this session, Goldman will cover topics such as dog walking safety, community awareness, local rules, and responsible reporting.


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