I take Splash, my Newfie, with me everywhere I go – which includes several bars in both San Francisco and Oakland. Splash is an attention getter, so much so that I am often asked if I can lend her out to those who are looking to attract a little attention and start a few conversations.   I usually jokingly say that they are welcome to rent her for a few hours.  She’s the Pet Camp equivalent of an online dating service.

Well, looks like I’ve missed the boat again on my next business idea. Turns out that Dr. Scott Campbell, the veterinarian who brought Banfield Pet Clinics to Petsmart has brought renting a pet to a strip mall near you. While I was willing to just rent out Splash for a few hours to help a buddy’s social life, Dr. Campbell has started “Hannah the Pet Society” where you can rent a pet for as long as you want! That’s right, now you don’t have to own your pet – or commit to being a pet parent for life – you can rent your pet for a low down payment and then a monthly lease that includes food and veterinary care (only if it’s performed at a Hannah clinic). But wait there’s more, the Hannah the Pet Society even has a match making software so that the commitment-phobe prospective pet parent can be matched to the perfect pet (back to that online dating thing again).

Dr. Campbell has set up Hannah the Pet Society as a nonprofit. He is promoting this as a new way for people who want a pet to have one without the “burdens” of ownership, or the fear that costs will get in the way, or even that your pet might outlive you. Sure, these are concerns when you’re a pet parent – but these are pets, not some luxury car that you can lease for 36 months and then return for a newer one.

So, what do you think? Are you ready for that pet on a lease or do you like being a more permanent pet parent?

Thanks for reading!

11 Responses to “Rent a Pet at a Strip Mall Near You”

  1. Claire Ellington

    So what happens to the pet when it gets too old or traumatized by being returned after multiple pet “renters” with varying levels of care and commitment, so it can’t be rented out again?  Is there a Hannah Retirement Village?  (I bet there isn’t!)

  2. lweis

    I agree with Claire – makes me nervous for the emotional health of the pet and for when they are older and have multiple health problems.  Now maybe I can start the “rent a husband” service….

  3. Dawn Tauer Larson

    Wow, I often think nothing surprises me, but yet again I have been proven wrong.   I have to agree that this is not a great idea when it comes the concern of the pet.  Some of my questions are what are they doing to ensure the safety and well being of these “rented” pets, that their “renters” are caring for them on the appropriate level.  I would also be concerned about the pets being bounced around and what that does to the poor animal.  Yet, I don’t understand how someone “renting” a pet doesn’t get attached.  It will take some convincing for me to be sold on this idea……..

  4. Pet Camp

    Poor Virginia is out of luck on this one…she would probably have to pay someone to take Mark.

  5. Jana Rade

    Well, I’m not sure what I think. It seems that many people treat their pets (and spouses) as a rental anyway … They get them forever–until they pee on the carpet, grow up, grow old, get sick … and then many get dumped. So perhaps, in a twisted way, this idea is a solution to that problem.

  6. Joanne Morris

    Might feel some needs for the human but what about the dogs? Should they be expected to positively accept so much transition?

  7. Pet Camp

    I think that dogs generally accept short term transitions (like pet care providers or volunteers at a shelter) but still think that they need a permanent home.

  8. Kimpetdominion

    This gives animals a disposable feel.  Not a big fan!  Can’t say I’m surprised that Dr. Banfield came up with this.  

  9. draughnetv

    wOoohh..wOoh..well yeah you can say so but i agree that pets still need permanent home and an owner where they can feel also that they are treated as a family or part of the family…