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Richmond shoppers can now 'park' their dogs in a smart kennel

Founded in Brazil, PetParker recently landed in Lansdowne Centre

Not sure where to leave your dog while you run a quick errand? A Richmond mall may have the solution for you.

Two PetParker smart kennels were installed in Lansdowne Centre last week to offer shoppers an alternative to leaving their pets outside in the cold or their cars.

Located near TD Bank and Happy Lamb Hot Pot, the free, app-based smart kennels can be unlocked using a QR code.

Once the dog has settled in, the door will lock automatically upon closing until the owner unlocks it again by scanning the QR code.

Chad Ishikawa, general manager of Lansdowne Centre, told the Richmond News on Thursday the free service is offered because dogs other than guide dogs are not allowed inside the mall.

"Yesterday, a pet owner informed us that their dog escaped a locked Tesla. This is an example of why the Pet Parker would be a solution for them," Ishikawa added.

PetParker was founded in Brazil by Georges Ebel after his two dogs got loose while he was grocery shopping. 

His solution to the problem is a two-by-two-by-four-foot ventilated and temperature-controlled pod, large enough for "an average-sized dog." Inside the pods are built-in cameras accessible for owners through the app and remotely monitored by PetParker. The pods are also cleaned and sanitized.

The company announced its expansion to Metro Vancouver in March.

When registering for the app, users are asked to confirm their pets are "at least six months old, healthy, protected against fleas and ticks and all vaccines are up-to-date." They must also confirm they are aware the "abandonment of a domestic animal is a crime under the Canadian criminal code."

According to the app, there are currently three PetParker kennels in Vancouver and two in North Vancouver.

- With files from Allie Turner, Vancouver Is Awesome.

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