The sharing economy is growing every day. It seems like every week, there is a new app to help you find someone that can do the thing you can’t or don’t want to do.
But all too often, local (and even sometimes state) governments get in the way of this progress. Many times, it’s New York City leading the way on stifling innovation.
Their latest target is an app called Rover. Its purpose is quite simple.: to connect dog owners with people who are willing to walk their dogs or dog sit for them while they are traveling.
The New York City Health Department recently sent a letter to Rover telling them people providing dog care services on the site without a license were doing so illegally and could be fined $1,000. New York City law says a license is required to care for animals, and licenses cannot be issued to private homes.
The NYC Health Department justifies this by saying the license is necessary to protect the public health.
“To ensure the health and safety of pets and reduce risks to public health, the NYC Health Code requires certain businesses to obtain a Health Department permit and comply with necessary regulations – this includes animal boarding facilities and kennels. We also conduct inspections of these facilities to make sure animals would be secure and safe.”
Dog owners are understandably upset about this. One owner, Cheryl Smart, said:
“It’s up to the owner to go and make sure that it’s safe. The moment you hand the leash over to someone else, that’s a responsibility, that’s your choice as a pet owner.”
It is no surprise NYC is taking this stance against people just trying to earn a little extra money. They fought Uber; they’ve made AirBnB illegal. They have tried to regulate how large of a soda you can drink. They have even made it impossible for restaurants and food carts to donate leftover food to homeless shelters. All of this in the name of protecting the health of its citizens.
I call it something else: being a nanny state.
America’s Liberty PAC is dedicated to reducing burdensome laws and regulations on business, at the federal, state, and local level.
– Chris Younce