Jun 052013

Interesting venture pointed out in the East Bay Express that enables dog owners some more affordable dog-sitting, and for those who love dogs a chance at some time to play with and care for a dog.

This philosophy is at the core of City Dog Share, a free pet-sitting co-op Husk founded in San Francisco in May 2011. In a town of start-ups, where there is a social network for every need, City Dog Share stands apart. (Think Couchsurfing.orgrather than Airbnb.) Rather than creating micro economies in which neighbors can exchange services for pay — as sites like Rover.com orDogVacay.com do — or following a venture-capitalist model, City Dog Share is a nonprofit whose mission is twofold: to end dog overpopulation and to build communities.

Husk, a social media marketer, runs City Dog Share via localized, open Facebook groups, where members post their needs — whether it’s looking for a pet sitter, a dog to walk, or a pup play date — and other group members respond. The organization has branched out to Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Humboldt County, and will soon expand to San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Denver. But the Bay Area group is the largest, with 1,200 members, and Husk says about 90 percent of requests in this flagship group get a quick response.