Rent-a-Pooch

Are you an animal lover?

Or perhaps an animal lover with commitment issues stemming from your relationship with your mother that you’re working out in therapy right now?

Well lucky for you, now pets—like most things in life (cars, homes, a warm body to spend the night with)—can be rented.

Of course, the owners of pet-rental services, prefer to call it “shared pet ownership.” According to Marlena Cervantes, founder of FlexPetz, the concept is more akin to a vacation time share or a gym membership than a trip to the video store (though if you’re like me, you’re probably more committed to your Blockbuster membership card than your gym card).

FlexPetz is currently available in Los Angeles and San Diego, where commitment-phobe dog lovers pay an annual fee of $99.95, a monthly payment of $49.95 and a per-visit charge of $39.95 a day for some animal companionship.

This fee apparently covers the expense of training the dogs, boarding them at a cage-free kennel, home or office delivery, collar-sized global positioning devices, veterinary bills, liability insurance, and “care kits” that accompany each dog on its visits.

Maybe it’s just me, but don’t people usually get paid to pet-sit, not the other way around?

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