Visiting and taking full advantage of a tourist city, but also having to cut through the crowds in the heat, is not always easy. So, doing it in the company of your favorite dog can seriously complicate things, especially when man’s best friend is not necessarily welcome, or even prohibited, in certain shops, restaurants, museums, places of worship… A hassle for visitors and also a nightmare for the animal, very often stressed or frightened by the crowd, the fear of being run over, which must be kept on a leash for the whole day. It is on the basis of this simple observation that Laetitia Lacote imagined PatchGuard, a dog daycare on demand and on time, as close as possible to the flow of visitors and run by people who have received training in animal welfare. .
Launched more than a year ago in Haut-Rhin, this service was also tested during the 2021 Christmas market period in Strasbourg. Located for nearly three months on Place Hans-Jean-Arp, a place a little too far from the passage of tourists, in a prefabricated room that was a bit cramped, the experience had nevertheless been well received, but could have met with greater success. This time, PatchGuard, which has received numerous awards, winner of the 2022 French petfriendly Trophy in the Tourism category, is moving closer to visitors. Close to the Batorama pier, a sort of Alsatian-style river boat, in the center of pedestrian flows, in the very heart of the hyper center, at 4 rue de la Douane.
Good for animal and tourism
The structure is preparing to open its doors from July 11 until December 31, the end of the next Christmas market. Like Laetitia Lacote, a graduate of Acaced (Certificate of knowledge for pets) and with 40 years of experience with dogs, two very qualified people have been recruited and the place is suitable for this activity. “They will be pampered, brushed, promises Laetitia Lacote. The room is large, nearly 100 m2 and in the shade, so cool. The dogs will be able to run, have fun with the activities that we offer them, such as the excavation mats, adds Laetitia Lacote. We can also walk them on the banks, nearby. »
A room that the small structure can afford thanks to an adapted rent wanted by the city. Because the entrepreneur’s proposal “responds to a real tourist and commercial need, and is in perfect harmony with concerns about animal welfare”, indicated last December Joël Steffen, deputy mayor in charge of trade and tourism.
In concrete terms, visitors can book online or go directly to the premises on rue de la Douane. The rate, which starts at 10 euros per hour, is decreasing according to the desired on-call time. The only requirements are an up-to-date dog vaccination record, having taken out civil liability insurance, and authorizing Patchguard staff to take the dog out to go for a walk with the animal.