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In-Home Dog Sitter Closed After Neighbor Complaints

An Arlington woman who looked after dogs in her home was forced to close late last year after a complaint from a neighbor.

A reader emailed to say that a woman she said was “the best dog boarder in Arlington” was closed after a neighbor “complained and effectively shut down her boarding business.”

The reader said she used the dog-boarding service Rover.com to connect with the sitter when she needed to go out of town. Rover.com describes itself as the “nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers,” and allows people to connect with others nearby who can help with their pets.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development confirmed the closure at a house on S. Fenwick Street in Arlington Heights.

“The property owner admitted that she was operating a dog sitting business and that she had three adult dogs plus her own two adult dogs but was not able to obtain photos of the three adult dogs she was watching,” the spokeswoman said. “She informed the inspector that she was operating her business from a website called Rover.”

Such services could be illegal under Arlington County Code, which allows no more than three dogs per household. The only exception to that rule, per the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, is when the zoning administrator approves more and the home has a kennel license.

That could mean that more users of Rover.com in Arlington — there are nine sitters and walkers listed in the county on the website — are in breach of county code. In an email, the reader bemoaned the loss of a favorite service.

“This was the most lovely, family-run business you could imagine,” she said. “Kids at home helped look after the dogs. [They had] 112 repeat clients.”

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