No dogs allowed? 'Park' them in secure, clean shelter

- When Bryony Cole goes out for coffee every morning she brings Margaret, her 3-year-old collie mix. Since Margaret isn't allowed inside the coffee shop, Bryony "parks" her outside.

"I don't want to leave Margaret tied up and not know what's going to happen to her," Cole said.

Instead, she pays 20 cents a minute to keep Margaret in a secure dog house called a "Dog Parker."

"I think it's the peace of mind I get when I still want to take Margaret out, I still want to take her for a walk, but I also want to do my errands, I want to grab groceries and a coffee," said Cole, who uses the Dog Parker outside of the Bean coffee shop in Williamsburg.

Dog Parkers are popping up all over Brooklyn, with 32 now up and running and a dozen more on the way.

"We've got Dog Parker sitting outside of places where your dog can't go inside, like grocery stores, coffee shops, and bagel shops," said Chelsea Brownridge, Dog Parker's founder.

Brownridge began testing out the idea two years ago.

"At its core, it's just a lockable dog house," she said.

But it has far more features than an average dog house. Among them: air conditioning, a camera that streams live to Dog Parker's app, and auto UV sanitizing between every single use. An employee also cleans each house every night.

The Dog Parker is unlocked through either an app or a member card.

Businesses like the Bean say it has proved to be a major perk for customers.

"I think people at first were unsure what it was, but definitely now people are using it more actively," said Brit Gossett, who works at the Bean.

It does take some getting used to for many dogs.

Brownridge advises dog owners to ease their pups into it.

"Bring treats, bring their favorite toy, that helps acclimate them," she said. "But in general dogs are den animals, they... feel safer in enclosed spaces than out tied up to a pole, exposed."

Dog Parker plans to expand to parts of Manhattan in October. The company is currently offering a free one-week trial.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories