Some people would like to own a dog but do not have the time or space to commit to full ownership. Marlena Cervantes is putting an end to this dilemma with her young company, FlexPetz, a company that rents out dogs from a few hours up to a few days. In this way, customers can know the benefits of owning a dog when it’s convenient for them.

Cervantes is a 32-year-old behavioral therapist who got the idea for her company while working with pets and autistic children. She says her company reduces the number of people who send their pets back to the shelters when they realize they can’t handle them. She currently has locations in Los Angeles and San Diego. She is opening new locations in San Francisco next month as well as New York and London by the end of the year. Those who use the service enroll in a membership with an annual fee of $99.95, a monthly payment of $49.95, and a per-visit charge of $39.95 a day. These fees cover the costs of training and boarding the dogs, home or office delivery, tracking devices, veterinary bills, and liability insurance as well as care kits with leashes, bowls, beds, and food for each dog. There are 10 dogs to choose from including Afghan hounds, Labrador retrievers, and Boston terriers.

When members first join, they are introduced to a trainer and are asked to select a dog to take home with them. At the first meeting, they are given a background of the company’s concept, dogs, and learn standard canine commands. The dogs receive a physical every three months, training sessions, the best dog food on the market, and a GPS tracking system to help find lost dogs and an environmental temperature sensor that alerts the company if a dog is in weather that compromises its health. The length of a membership is 12 months, and members must use the service at least twice per month, even if it’s just for half a day. With the expansion of this service, people all over the country may one day be able to rent out these dogs.

For related articles visit http://www.flexpetz.com/membership.html and

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070730/ap_on_bi_ge/rent_a_pet.

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