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San Francisco Cracks Down on Dog Walkers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Have you ever been pushed off the sidewalk because someone is walking too many dogs at one time?  Well that's about to stop in San Francisco: the Board of Supervisors there passed legislation on Wednesday cracking down on dog walkers gone wild.

The legislation puts in effect new requirements, including limiting the number of dogs one walker is allowed to walk at one time to eight. The measure is set to begin no later than January 1, 2013.

With this new legislation, dog walkers walking more than four dogs on city property must apply for a permit and obey certain courtesies.

Applicants will be forced to complete 20 hours of training classes, or go through a 48-hour apprenticeship.  Supervisor Scott Wiener, who spearheaded the legislation, said it’s important because he believes without dog walkers, most San Franciscans wouldn’t be able to own their pets.

“One-third of San Francisco households have dogs, and commercial dog walkers provide a critical service. Many wouldn’t be able to own them without dog walkers. We have approximately 500 dog walkers in the city, some are extraordinary and some have no training,” Wiener told ABC News.

“I thought that now was the time to put something in place,” he added.

The legislation includes many other qualifications in order to obtain the permit.  Walkers will be required to learn proper dog park behavior like picking up after their dogs and other restrictions. They will also need to learn canine first-aid, and how to control and safely transport dogs.

Leashes must also be carried for each dog at all times, and proper leash laws must be followed.  The walkers must carry water in case dogs need a sip after a long walk.  All permit holders will need to take out a $1 million liability insurance policy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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