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Chill with his owner Anne Chirakal. Image Credit: Anne Chirakal

PSA - High Park Dog Walker Linked to Death of Pet Continues to Offer Dog Walking Services

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:

Do Not Hire Scott Howley Poster created by local dog walker in the area
Poster created by friend and local dog walker of Chilly's family to raise awareness​​

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Do they offer a free meet and greet?

  3. Do they have a professional contract or service agreement?

  4. 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

  5. Do you have references from current clients that use your services?

  6. Are you trained in canine learning theory and body language?

  7. How many dogs do you walk at once?

  8. Do you walk alone?

  9. What kind of training methods and equipment do you use?

  10. Are you certified to provide canine first aid, and what are your emergency protocols?

Images are not property of Doggos Events Inc.

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  • Maria | Doggos Team

    Hi there Dog Walker!

    We really wished that you left your contact information so that we could contact you to personally thank you for sharing your advice! We’ll be making updates to the blog post shortly so that we can direct folks to more relevant organizations.

    Thank you again for the feedback!

  • Dog Walker

    Thank you for posting this article! There are just a few points that are incorrect about the information you suggest about choosing a dog walker.
    1) Although insurance is not mandatory for dog walkers walking 3 dogs or less, it is mandatory in order to get a “licence” (permit) to walk between 4-6 dogs. The city requires proof in order to qualify.
    2) There are very few dog walking associations and the one listed here is not properly run or accredited. There are only 6 members of the Canadian dog walking association. Instead look for members of the Pet Professional Guild. This is a much better known and established organization.

    Thank you for writing this story. Please look into my suggestions and edit your article appropriately.

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