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Subject: Action Alert: Rent-a-Dog is Coming to Boston Flex Petz, abusiness that rents dogs to people who want the fun of a pet without theresponsibility or commitment, is coming to Boston this spring.It already has opened in LA, San Diego and NYC amid much mediafanfare--all of it positive. Indeed, Flex Petz has been so successful,it has spawned a business that rents dogs to hotels, as perks for their guests. (Apparently a chocolate on the pillow and a fluffy bathrobearen't enough anymore.)
We who genuinely love and respect animals know how horrific this is forthe dogs who are rented--deprived of the consistency and stability theyneed, the bonding and love they deserve. And consider how people treatthings they pay to use for a short time, like cars and hotel rooms.Under the Flex Petz model, dogs are "things" too.
The organization says aw shucks, we screen renters well. What they don'tdisclose is the fate of dogs who aren't rented as often as Flex Petz'bottom line dictates, or who bite (likely because they're scared and confused after being shuffled from one renter to the next) or who growold and ill, as all beings eventually do, and become an expense ratherthan a profit center. No business can hold onto excess inventory and remain solvent. But far more dangerous is what Flex Petz will do to the human-animal relationship over time by advancing the "disposable pet" mindset.It's a given: If Flex Petz takes root, knock-offs will follow.
And together, they'll pave the way for an epidemic of animal abandonment and abuse the likes of which we've never seen, at least not in New England,and won't be able to manage.We have a unique opportunity to prevent a new brand of animal crueltyrather than try to treat the problem after the fact.To do so, we must lobby vigorously to keep Flex Petz out of Massachusetts.
And we also need to conduct a broad-based public information campaign--letters to the editor, op-eds, public service ads, flyers, media outreach-- to accomplish two things:--Educate those who care about animals but don't appreciate how cruelrenting them is.--Shame the rest into not patronizing Flex Petz the same way theAmerican Cancer Society has made it uncool to smoke. And we have to do it now, before Flex Petz and its clones take hold. Orsuffer the consequences. Please, please pass this message to Coalition organizations and ask that they in turn pass it along to their members.Thank you.
Beth BirnbaumMassachusetts Animal Coalition, Inc.
PO Box 766
Westborough, MA 01580
Web site: www.massanimalcoali tion.org
General email: macadmin@massanimal coalition. org
MAChas received this information, has not taken any official positiononits merits, but as it may be of interest, MAC is passing it alongtoour members and friends. You and your organization may decide the merits of this information based on your own experiences and beliefs.