I don't think it's that terrible of an idea. The dogs are friendly and need to be walked. People are willing to pay good money to walk them. Everybody wins.
Yes, some dogs aren't suitable, but a lot of dogs are perfectly happy lavishing love on any random person who happens to cross their paths. My mom has a dog I grew up with, and that dog would fall all over herself to have multiple strangers come walk her every day. It's not really a bad life for the right dog, if you think about it.
I didn't see any mention of overnight visits or long-term rentals, so I don't think this is quite in line with someone adopting/buying a dog and then dumping it at a shelter when they get sick of it. It's also not always that easy to go walk dogs at the local shelter. Most large shelters have pretty strict orientation/training requirements for their volunteers that can be inconvenient for people with full-time jobs. I was a volunteer coordinator at a good-sized shelter, so I understand the need, but I can also understand how limited orientations can be off-putting to people with regular 9-5 jobs.
Heck, if they have cat rentals going on in D.C., I'd consider offering them Lucy.
She loves every opportunity to go out and meet people. She loves
going to the vet and meeting new people to screech at. She loves it whenever we have new people in the apartment. Our A/C leaked over the weekend, and you'd think she won the lottery the way she freaked out over every maintenance person who walked through the door. She's so annoying to the poor men, with all her screeching and busybody behavior, that I generally lock her in the bedroom when I know they're coming.
Some animals just don't care who
it is. They're not timid, and they love interacting with anyone.