In 2006 London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames undertook a consultation to introduce a Dog Control Order (DCO). Part of the proposal was to limit the number of dogs any one person could walk. Professional Dog Walkers and the public gave negative feedback to this proposal and it was decided not to introduce it but instead to monitor the situation and revisit it as necessary.
April 2012, and another consultation took place. The proposal was to limit the number of dogs that could be walked to 4. If passed, this DCO would have far reaching effects on Professional Dog Walkers and their clients. Lucy and Jaya arranged a meeting and invited Professional Dog Walkers from across the Borough. The outcome of the meeting was to come up with an alternative offer, a DCO of 6 dogs coupled with a ‘Code of Conduct’.
What was interesting was that Professional Dog Walkers did want some regulations. What they also really wanted was to be able to go about their working week, with their heads held high, without the uncertainty of when their profession would next be threatened and without constantly having to defend the job they love in public. They all agreed that Professional Dog Walkers provide an important, valuable service, a service that many people could not manage without and that their profession should be recognised and put on the map. This idea quickly developed and grew, and The Association of Professional Dog Walkers was born.
29th May 2012: Members of APDW attended the Regulatory meeting at LBRUT and put their proposal to them. The plan was simple – a DCO of 6 dogs would allow Professional Dog Walkers to continue to provide a valuable amenity to the constituents of LBRUT and neighbouring boroughs. It would however help to alleviate some issues being experienced in some of the borough’s parks. Coupled with APDW’s, code of conduct & ethics, self-monitoring, not-for-profit, educational, and charitable intentions, LBRUT were being offered help to resolve dog related issues within the Borough. The offer was simply ‘let us help you; we are the best placed people to assist in resolving these problems’.
By 9.20pm on 29th May 2012 members of APDW were celebrating! A DCO of 6 dogs had been agreed, effective date 1st July 2012.
APDW’s work now really began, progressing their relationship with the council, organising a public launch and their first event, spreading the word, getting the web site up and running, involving local businesses…….. The To Do List was endless.
Watch this space…….