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Published: Jul 06, 2022 9 min read
Dogs Playing

When Kelley and Denis O’Sullivan bought their Bay Area home four years ago, it came with a massive backyard. The previous owners had raised horses on the property, but the O’Sullivans had no practical use for the now-empty piece of land. Still, they wanted to do something with it.

A few years later, Kelley saw an ad on Facebook for Sniffspot, a company that connects pet owners to people who have private outdoor spaces where dogs can safely run off-leash.

“I was like, ‘oh, that’s interesting. I wonder what that’s about,’" she says. "And here we are."

After making some repairs to their fencing and bringing in some doggie essentials like drinking water, toys and poop bags, the couple listed their yard on Sniffspot last spring, charging $10 an hour for the nearly one-acre space. They even gave their “spot” a name: #349 K9 Farm, a nod to the badge number of their daughter, a Sacramento police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2019.

Since then, they’ve developed a core group of regulars. The couple had 80 bookings last month alone — netting an extra $1,300 in side income, says Kelley, who works as a personal trainer. (Denis works in IT).

“If you’re looking to kind of dip your toe into a side hustle, this is definitely one to do,” she says.

Off-leash dog parks at a reasonable price

Sniffspot, which launched in 2018, is one of the newer iterations of the so-called sharing economy.