A Toronto dog walker linked to the death of pet in hot car continues to offer dog walking services just one month after the incident.
Last month, several news articles (including Toronto Sun, Global News, Narcity, CityNews) were published following the death of a Toronto family’s four-year-old dog that was allegedly left in a car for several hours in high 20-degree weather.
The death of Chilly the Samoyed marked the second pet that allegedly died in a hot car under Scott Howley’s (the dog walker) care.
Reports have since surfaced on social media about the death of Teddy, a dog allegedly left in a car for several hours by Howley in 2018.
Howley's wife reassured them they were never going to work with dogs again
According to the Narcity article, “Chirakal [the dog owner] says when they both saw [Chilly], they collapsed onto him in tears, while Howley's wife reassured them they were never going to work with dogs again…”
During the last few days, the neighbourhood dog community including dog walkers, local pet store owners, community Facebook groups, and friends of Anne Chirakal and Jeff Cochran (Chilly’s dog owners) have confirmed that they have seen Scott Howley continue to offer his dog walking services to the community.
Justine, a local pet store owner in the Bloor West Village, recounts a conversation she had a couple days ago with a local dog walker in her store “We were discussing her practices and she brought up that she ran into Scott. He had a puppy with him and introduced himself as a dog walker.”
A fellow Samoyed owner in the GTA Samoyed Meet Up Facebook group has also confirmed that she was offered his dog walking services, contact information and that he is taking on clients again.
Neighbourhood friends and family have created a flyer to raise awareness of his continued dog walking services and encourage community members against hiring his dog walking services while investigations are still underway:
QR Code Links to the Jun 2, 2022 Global News Article of the original incident.
Here at Doggos, we take pet safety seriously. Dog walking in Toronto is an under-regulated industry. There are few regulations and repercussions against negligent care so we urge the community to take caution and avoid using his services as investigations are underway.
Before Hiring a Dog Walker
If you’re looking to hire a dog walker in the city be sure to ask the following 10 key questions to help protect yourself and your pet:
Are you licensed and insured, and can they provide proof of coverage? In Toronto a licence is required for all dog walkers. Insurance is also required if the dog walker is walking 4-6 dogs. Note: insurance is not required if they're walking 3 or less dogs.
Do they offer a free meet and greet?
Do they have a professional contract or service agreement?
Are they a member of a professional pet sitter’s association or have a certification? While not required, this is a good indication that they take their profession seriously. A well-known dog walker association is: Pet Professional Guild
Do you have references from current clients that use your services?
Are you trained in canine learning theory and body language?
How many dogs do you walk at once?
Do you walk alone?
What kind of training methods and equipment do you use?
Are you certified to provide canine first aid, and what are your emergency protocols?
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