Supervision & Standards

This has been a difficult few days for dog guardians and the dog industry in our city.  A van with 16 dogs was stolen from a dog walking company. We pride ourselves on offering an expert opinion, particularly when our clients and friends have reached out for more information. In this blog post Susan, our Founder, shares some insight into the industry and offers some information to our clients on how Park9 has chosen to transport dogs in our care.


Photo credit: John Hanley & The Toronto Star

Some have started to question our actions as an industry from this incident. Firstly, it is important to understand that the dog industry is not regulated and therefore each dog company owner is responsible for setting their own standards of care. We each choose our own methods to ensure dogs are safe and healthy while in our care and we all run our businesses somewhat differently. You, as the consumer, must ask questions that will help you find the right provider for the level of care you desire.  Word of mouth is only one barometer; you still should do your homework.

I cannot speak for how others choose to operate but I can share how Park9 (and from our beginnings as Urbandog Fitness + Spa 13 years ago) have chosen to do so.



When we transport our dogs between locations, each dog is moved in a crash tested harness and secured for safety by a tie down in the van.  We transport a maximum of 6 to 7 dogs at any one time.  We believe this allows personal space for each dog and helps to regulate the temperature in the back of the van.  The van is equipped with non-skid anti fatigue matting for both the comfort and safety of the dogs.

When dogs are being dropped at a location, we use a buddy system so dogs are not left unattended for periods of time in the van.  A staff member meets the van and driver to bring the dog(s) into the building.

Our trips are less than 30 minutes, but we feel that these measures are still vital in meeting the same standard we apply in our daycare.


We are extremely happy and relieved that all the dogs that were taken with the van on Friday were found same day and returned home safely.   It was the best possible ending to a difficult day for all involved.  I’m sure there were extra treats and plenty of hugs that night!

Susan Rupert


Park9 Urbandog Playcare & Resorts