Rover.com was a win for dogs, walkers, and owners — until the kennel lobbyists came barking

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Lisa Jacobson, a single mother from Colorado Springs, Colo., wanted to earn money and support her family while transitioning to a new career. Rover.com, an online platform that connects pet owners with walkers and sitters, was the perfect solution. Lisa loves animals and, due to her experience working with animals with health problems and troubled pasts, many people trusted their pets with her. She earned enough money through her work to pay her mortgage and her son’s college education.

Then, things took a turn for the worse.

A large commercial kennel noticed Jacobson’s success, and their corresponding loss of business — so it filed a complaint with the state. A state inspector informed Jacobson that she would have to shut down her home-based business or obtain a commercial kennel license. To walk neighbors’ pets or watch them for a few days while they were out of town, Jacobson would need to submit a $400 nonrefundable application fee for a license.