CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — It’s the latest place to put your pooch while you’re on the go in Cuyahoga Falls — DogSpot is now operating at two locations downtown.
The high-tech dog house is heated, cooled and equipped with a camera that allows owners to watch their dogs.
DogSpot is controlled via the company app. Users must create an account and pin number then input the information on screen of the DogSpot unit in order to open the dog house door.
Don Walters, the city mayor, says Cuyahoga Falls is already pet friendly and believes DogSpot will better allow people to explore downtown.
“If they otherwise would go for a walk and then go home now they can put their pet in the DogSpot,” said Walters. “It’s heated, it’s cooled, it’s secure, it’s even disinfected after each use and they can visit our great business downtown.”
Users say DogSpot is a safer alternative than leaving pets in the car to run a brief errand.
“You also are not supposed to leave them chained up outside,” said Mayor Walters. “This way they’re safe secure probably more comfortable than we are.”
The units were installed this week and users already seem to agree that they’re benefiting the community.
“It’s a great idea. If you happen to be down here maybe you see something in the window, you want to run in and buy it. Maybe you need to use the public restrooms that are here,” said Cathy Meacham next to her 85 lbs German Shepard Hunter.
Meacham, a city employee, demonstrated how the device is used and says her dog was comfortable enough to lay down inside.
Mayor Walters says the units are subsidized for $500 dollars per month through the end of 2019, the first 90 minutes are free. In 2020 city officials say they will look for sponsors who can advertise on the units or they will move to charge users.
According to a DogSpot spokesperson, the price is normally 30 cents per minute. Users are charged a $5 dollar penalty per minute after 90 minutes. Users receive an alert after the dog has been inside the unit for 75 minutes.
“As of today we’re proud to say the only ones in Ohio are in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.
A company spokesperson says the units typically have a maximum time limit of 90 minutes and DogSpot should not be used as a substitute for dog daycare.
The New York company startup spokesperson says their most requested locations are super markets. In early September they plan to open two locations at Dave’s Markets in Ohio City and Cleveland Heights.
Dog lovers say the smart dog house gives them peace of mind their dog is safe.
“On my phone I’ll have an app and it tells me what the temperature is at all times and if it were to get too warm it will notify me and I can come and get my dog out,” said Meacham.