Lisa Ullery is a part-time independent petsitter from Denver, and for nearly a year she has been using a popular app to help her find work.
Ullery and hundreds of other people in Colorado have a lot in common with Uber and Lyft drivers and homeowners who rent their places out on Airbnb to make a little extra cash. But unlike those more established practices, Ullery’s place in the gig economy only recently became legal.
Colorado recently made legal changes with petsitters like her in mind. Updates to Colorado’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act carve out room for people to care for three or fewer pets without the licensing that would otherwise be required for kennels or doggy day cares.
“I think the shared economy is a new topic for everyone,” Ullery said. “It’s good to offer an alternative for these pet owners.”
While pet care has become a multibillion-dollar industry — a report from the American Pet Products Association reported that petsitting and grooming alone brought in nearly $6 billion last year — at-home petsitting in Colorado has for years quietly occupied a legal gray area.