9, 2004 Las Vegas SUN by Lisa Ferguson
Dogged by Love
idea of a pet stroller invokes
images of aged, fur-clad ladies pushing their spoiled shiatsus
prams, but that’s hardly fair to Lise King’s eminently
to haul animals weighing up to 50 pounds, Ms. King’s pet
strollers are designed for owners of mid-size dogs — or enormous
cats — and are more likely to be used by the straphanger
a wonderful vehicle for people who live in cities, where they have
to take their cats to the vet in those heavy, awkward carriers,” said
Ms. King, adding that the strollers are useful for transporting
pets that are old or injured.
canvas-and-mesh kennels are mounted on a steel frame with wheels,
and pass the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s rules
requiring pets to be “carried in kennels or similar containers.” The
kennel is removable for off-road carrying.
King’s Kittywalk Systems has sold 10,000 strollers and done
$1.5 million in business in just 18 months.
said PetCo stores in New York asked to stock the strollers as soon
as possible, because they’ve been “bombarded” with
original strollers, which costs $129 each, were sold out from March
to November. The return to the shelves included the addition of
the second model, to hold mid-sized pets.
it’s increased carrying capacity, knobby-rubber wheels, and
stronger frame, the Pet Stroller SUV is designed to handle snow
and dirt and comes with a $159 price tag.
stroller weighs 22 pounds, so the owner of a 45-pound dog would
be pushing 67 pounds of steel and animal on New York’s streets.
Always looking at the next horizon, Ms. King plans to introduce
the Big Dog Street Surfer at the Backer Pet Expo in Atlantic City
in April. Intended to help transport even larger pets,the new model
will come with a ramp for getting up and down steps or into and
out of cars.
owner of Spot, a pet store in Chelsea, Joe Bransom, said he sells
10 to 15 strollers a week.
stops people dead in their tracks when they walk by the store,” he
said. “There is a niche market out there for people who need
this kind of product.”
what do the pets think?
Maass, an upstate New York customer, said her cat “loves
it. He jumped right in.” Ms. King’s own cats, a 2-year-old
female and a 5-year-old male, are the testers for all of her pet
products. Both seem to like the stroller. “Cats are like
kids, they love to go for a ride,” she said.
New Yorker and veteran inventor, Ms. King came up with the idea
two years ago when she was faced with herding her cats — she
often took the elder for walks, and the younger wanted to come
couldn’t put them both in harnesses. She would walk one way,
he would walk the other, and one of them might slip out,” she
she bought a cheap stroller, cut out some of the material, and
installed netting over the top, for the first working model.
King has been inventing all her life and holds several patents,
though her pet products are the first to turn a profit. She still
works for a catalog production firm on Long Island.
started her company with the Kittywalk System, a mesh “habitrail
for animals” that allows indoor cats to go outside and be
protected from bugs or other animals by a mesh enclosure.
PAMPERED PET Little Misuka, a Ragdoll cat, is settled in and ready to roll
in her Pet Stroller