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Pet groomers back to business, overwhelmed by demand

May 12, 2020

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Pet grooming businesses had been slammed with phone calls for appointments in anticipation of being able to reopen Monday, and it doesn’t look like business will slow down any time soon.

Madison Durham, co-owner of Paws Town, said the phone was off the hook all day the first day back — and they’re already booking through the end of June.

“We’re ecstatic to be open again,” she said. “We’re super eager. We know everyone has been kind of stir crazy. A lot of clients are excited for us to be able to open up grooming.”

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In order to comply with safety guidelines due to COVID-19, pet groomers had to make some modifications to minimize person-to-person contact and space out their work stations.

At Paws Town — which normally offers boarding, daycare, grooming and training — they are also taking a slow approach to reopen all their services.

“As of right now, we are just doing grooming,” Durham said. “We are hoping to phase in the other services as allowed. We’re obviously maintaining social distancing, and we have all of our groomers set up throughout the building so they can maintain that distance.”

When owners drop off their pets, employees come out with masks and gloves on. Paws Town also uses their own collars and leashes, and they take over-the-phone payments to keep contact to a minimum.

“We are also doing all the cleaning that comes with running an animal facility,” Durham said. “We’re always cleaning. We have hand sanitizer everywhere.”

For Troy Ratliff, owner of the mobile grooming service On the Go Studio, not much had to change in terms of operation.

“It’s a whole lot easier for us to follow the mandates because we were pretty close to contactless before the pandemic,” he said. “What we’re doing is what we’ve been doing anyway, just probably more frequently and thoroughly. We have disinfectant spray and wipes, and all of the grooming loops and leashes are made from a rubber material so they disinfect more easily.”

Ratliff said it’s been difficult trying to keep up with the demand over the last few days as people try to book appointments.

“The call volume has been more than I’ve ever seen,” he said. “We’ve been used to being super busy over the years, but there were quite a bit of calls coming through when we were shut down because people were unsure. I haven’t counted up how many calls and texts, but it’s a whole lot. All the groomers I’ve talked to around and have pretty much experienced the same thing. People are desperate to get in somewhere.”

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May 12, 2020

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