Retailers add dog ‘sanctuaries’ for shoppers
Several West Michigan retailers are adding a safe space for dogs while their owners shop.
DogSpot, a small “sidewalk sanctuary” for dogs while their owners shop at places where pets aren’t allowed, is now available at Bridge Street Market and Family Fare in Grand Rapids, with sanctuaries coming soon to Family Fare in Holland and Arbor Hills Mall in Ann Arbor.
The DogSpot sanctuary is 46.5 inches tall by 30 inches wide and 33.5 inches deep. Shelters are equipped with both heating and cooling, use UV lights to kill bacteria and viruses and are designed to fit most dog breeds comfortably.
Each sanctuary is connected to the internet, and dog owners can locate, reserve and monitor them via the DogSpot phone app.
DogSpot only can be unlocked with a membership card. Each key card is unique, so only the dog’s owner using the shelter can unlock the door.
DogSpot Co-Founder Chelsea Brownridge conceived of the idea for a high-tech, vet-grade dog shelter as a solution to living in Brooklyn with her own high-energy Terrier mix, Winston. She said it was difficult taking him around the city because so many places didn’t allow dogs inside.
“I wouldn't tie him up because, like many, I worried he'd get loose, get scared, or be stolen,” Brownridge said. “Sometimes, Winston needed to stay home more often than either of us wanted just because I'd go into a store for a few minutes where he wasn't allowed.”
DogSpot shelters are available in 18 states.