SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new law went into effect July 1st in San Francisco, requiring dog walkers with four or more dogs to obtain a permit.

There were no plans to issue tickets to offenders within the first 90 days, but citations should be expected after that.

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Under the law, any dog walker with four or more dogs at a time must have a permit. The initial cost for a permit is $240, with an annual $100 renewal charge.

Dog walkers who have been in business less than three years must also complete 20 hours of training or 40 hours of comparable apprentice work.  Under the new guidelines, the dog walker’s vehicle is subject to inspection to ensure it is capable of safely transporting multiple dogs at a time, and the driver must provide proof of $1 million liability insurance.

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“The dog walkers come in with huge numbers of dogs and let them loose with no park etiquette or anything else and it was becoming problematic, not the least of which was cleanup. Also, behavior,” said Department of Animal Care and Control director Rebecca Katz.

“Within any group there’s always a certain percentage that don’t do what they should do and that reflects on everyone so we were hoping to raise the bar,” added Nancy Stafford, who runs a local professional dog walkers’ association. She said the rules are long overdue.

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