Service lets you pay for time with a dog -- but don't call it rent-a-pet -Associated Press
I think, for the most part, this idea has merit. There is a financial commitment involved, which is good because it is a symbol of commitment - - people do not like to part with their money that easily. Aside from that, it is also a good way for people to be able to experience having a pet in your care first-hand, and could possibly be a good prep ground for being a full-time 24/7 pet parent (though that remains to be seen).
My main concern is the pet's psychological attachment to the part-time owners. It takes a certain personality type to do well in such an environment. I hope that the company owners have taken this into serious consideration when choosing their part-time pets for 'rent'.