Muscovites may soon be able to leave their pets in specially designated areas while they browse through shopping centers or dine out.
Alexei Nemeryuk, head of the city's department of trade and services, told the Izvestia newspaper Wednesday that a proposal was currently being considered to oblige some business owners to install special booths or hooks for pets' leashes.
"In front of every store, shopping center or beauty salon it will be obligatory to set up the usual parking sign with a drawing of a dog and a hook for the pet's leash," the proposal reads, Izvestia reported. "The responsibility to erect the sign can be placed on storeowners."
Larger centers where shoppers are expected to spend more time would be required to offer special booths for dogs.
"The booth should be lockable, so that no one can steal the dog. Token payments will be accepted when dogs are left for a long period of time," the proposal said.
Roman Mirov, an employee of the Hermitage Moscow City Garden state enterprise who submitted the proposal, told Izvestia that it would help make shopping safer for both people and their pets.
"Dogs will be safer [in a specially designated area] than being tied up in front of the entrance. Children won't tease the dog, and ill-wishers will not be able to steal it. Other visitors and passersby won't have to worry about an unattended dog attacking them," Mirov was cited as saying.
According to Nemeryuk, the new system will first be implemented in a single district of the city as a pilot project. If it proves successful, city authorities may expand the scheme throughout the city.