Pup and lock! Fort Greene dog owners pay to stash pooches in sidewalk kennels

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Call it a barking lot!

A new curbside kennel service in Fort Greene lets dog-owners pay to “park” their pooches while they run errands, which the creator says makes it easier to go see a man about a dog while you’re already out walking one.

“I hope they will make it a little easier to keep a dog in the city,” said Dog Parker inventor Chelsea Brownridge, who came up with the idea because she doesn’t like leaving her terrier Winston at their Bedford-Stuyvesant home when she is out and about.

Users pay $25 to join, then 20 cents a minute or $12 an hour to stash their hounds inside lockable boxes with a slim window at the front while they duck inside a cafe or do their banking, and Brownridge says around 50 people have signed up to the service so far.

Two of the boxes are up and running in the neighborhood now, but Brownridge hopes to have 100 out on Brooklyn streets by spring.

And neighborhood businesses report that they’re working as promised — more customers are coming inside now that their owners are unencumbered by canine companions, said one store-keep.

“Before, we usually had people asking for a menu and staying outside but now they can actually come inside,” said Keith Goldberg, who owns Baguetteaboutit bakery on Vanderbilt Avenue, one of two Dog Parker locations alongside the Fort Greene General Store on DeKalb Avenue.

Some dog owners are freaked out by the idea of leaving their mutt locked inside a box on the street, so Brownridge says she is creating a mobile application where they will be able to watch their pups on in-kennel cameras and monitor the temperature inside the doghouses.

But dogs love being in enclosed spaces because they’re den animals, Brownridge claims — though she acknowledges the experience isn’t for every man and his dog.

“There are plenty of dogs who don’t like kennels, but for the people who have signed up, their dogs have been comfortable with it,” she said.

And the boxes are no flea-bag motels, she says — someone swings by to sanitize them every day.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Kinda sad that we live in a society where popping into a store or bank for 5 mins carries with it a risk of your dog being stolen (or abused). Actually, more than kinda sad. Very sad.
Dec. 2, 2015, 10:22 am
hb from clinton hill says:
Good idea for the businesses and convenient, I guess.
I do wonder about the cleaning...the flea bag caption is a little too real. The design might benefit from a little tweaking.
Dec. 2, 2015, 10:26 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I know that it's a rainy day, but I have some information regarding fleas that you may find relevant here:

"Any temperature above 95°F (35°C) is lethal to adult fleas. They will die within two days unless relative humidity exceeds 75% . Similarly, fleas can’t survive outdoors when temperatures surpass 95°F for more than 40 hours a month.1 Flea larvae will also die in this kind of heat. They’ll live long enough to form cocoons and complete their pupal-imaginal molt, but all the fleas will die within their cocoon."

Now, if these cages are temperature regulated to these specifications, these dogs, cats and even birds won't have to worry about fleas, and nor will their owners.
Pardon the interruption.
John Wasserman
Dec. 2, 2015, 11:54 am
K. from ArKady says:
Sounds like an EasyBake oven for dogs.
Dec. 2, 2015, 12:09 pm
Chelsea/ Dog Parker founder from new to Prospect Heights says:
From Dog Parker, to get ahead of some FAQ: Thank you to everyone for taking the time to ask questions and comment. We would take a moment to address some of the biggest concerns we have heard from other blog commenting areas. I hope you'll take the time to read :) Also here:

1. Abandonment. Dog Parker is a membership-based service (like Zip Car if you're familiar with that). We know every dog and every dog owner who uses our service. This allows us to hold members accountable for vaccinations (which we require) cleanliness (which we monitor after every visit with maintenance crews and internal webcams) and if someone were to sadly abandon their dog, we would follow the same procedures as any boarding facility or doggie daycare where this may happen to ensure the dog's safety.

2. Sanitation. We provide regular maintenance in accordance with dog boarding and veterinary industry standards, using the same cleaning products and schedule. We have an animal wellness expert on our team who has helped us develop this plan. We are also working closely with NYC DOH to follow all procedures to keep our dog-members safe. It is our #1 priority.

3. Temperature. Our Dog Parkers are insulated to provide warmth in the winter (to-date it runs about 15 degrees warmer inside than the outside temperature when it gets cold) and keep the cool from the cooling fan in during the summer months (much like how insulation works in a regular house). We also utilize heating pads and cooling fans in more extreme weather. Most importantly, we monitor temperature 24/7 and if temperatures inside the house go below 32 F or above 85 F the houses are automatically taken offline and members are notified.

4. Time limits. Dog Parkers are meant for short trips as an alternative to tying your dog up outside or having to leave them home alone all day because you happen to be going one place in your day where they cannot accompany you. NYC dog tethering laws stipulate a 3-hour time limit. That is also our time limit. We monitor these limits and notify owners as they are approaching limits. We have staff who will go out and remove a dog from the kennel if we encounter a negligent member to take them to a partner boarding facility. Again, because we are a member service, we have the dog owner's information on file so we can ensure accountability.

5. Lock malfunction. If the electric locks fail, we have a key secured in a lockbox to the back of the Dog Parker which will manually unlock the Dog Parker in case of emergency (our customer service gives the owner the code upon confirmation of identity). To date, no failures. Also our Dog Parkers are secured to the sidewalk so no one can walk off with them.

6. Leaving things (like children and drugs) inside the Dog Parker. We monitor the Dog Parkers with webcams and hold our members accountable. If anything other than a dog is placed inside the unit, we know which members to contact.

7. Leaving your dog at home instead. Absolutely you should! In many cases this will still be the best option for your dog. We leave our dog Winston at home when we go to work or other places where for the majority of the day he will not be able to join us. But we prefer to have him lead an active life around the city (he is a terrier and has lots of energy!), and until laws around dogs change, Dog Parker is a safe, comfortable, clean alternative in those moments when you need to step inside a place where your dog isn't allowed. Hope you'll take some time to learn more about us and stay in touch.
Dec. 2, 2015, 1:06 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
"Until laws around dogs change" i.e. until they don't have to stop for red lights!
Dec. 2, 2015, 2:25 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
And that's how they got fleas.
Dec. 2, 2015, 4:47 pm
Samir Kabit from Cobble Hill says:
How much to house a homeless person in one of those?
Dec. 3, 2015, 6:03 am
ty from pps says:
wang - don't play with your food.
Dec. 3, 2015, 3:36 pm

Comments closed.

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