Dueling Dog Walkers War in Manhattan

These downtown dog walkers sure play ruff.

A judge has temporarily barred a dog walker from tending his four-legged clients within a 10-mile radius of a Manhattan rival's territory.

State Supreme Court Justice Debra James ruled that Brian Mestre could not run his business near his former employer, Paw Stop, because he had signed a noncompete agreement with the dog daycare center.

Paw Stop owner Dan Rubenstein sued Mestre alleging that he had spotted the former employee walking a customer's dog in violation of the two-year agreement. Mestre's lawyer, Lawrence Goodman, says the court is preventing his client from "earning a livelihood."

Mestre worked as a front-desk clerk at Paw Stop on Murray Street in Tribeca in January 2007. Rubenstein says Mestre was allowed access to the company's client database.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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