Operations Update – June 2020

Dear Valued Customer,

Patrick’s Pet Care is still here, and we have many of you to thank for that, especially those who have maintained their subscriptions (some, without actually using our services), purchased gift cards, tried our virtual dog training and grooming services, or simply kept their service in place because they needed it– WE THANK YOU. Your choices saved people’s jobs and positioned us to pivot and re-open.

Of course, if you have needed to make other choices for your family, we understand and hope to see you back at Patrick’s Pet Care when you need us. We’ll be here.

Please let us know if your lives have changed in such a way that you don’t imagine needing our services for some time, or will be making adjustments to your plans. Continue reading for other important policy and services changes:

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There are some important changes to our services and the way that we provide them that you all should know about going forward:

Dog Walking

We will continue to offer our professional mid-day dog walking services Monday-Friday 10:30am-3:30pm, with optional “pinch hit” late afternoon weekday services. We will not be offering weekend dog walking services until after Labor Day, at the earliest.

  • Precautionary Measures: We’ve provided personal protective equipment and use guidelines to all our dog walking staff, inclusive of a supply of reusable masks, disposable gloves, a personal supply of hand sanitizer to carry on their person, forehead thermometers, a retractable “11th finger” to allow them to manipulate objects, buttons, and doors with the least personal touch possible, and paid time off to stay home and go get tested immediately on the first sign of any illness.
  • Staffing and Operational Changes: our dog walking operation will be managed by Joe Ryan and Emma Teller until such time that our workload can justify the return of the general manager, Ethan. To save money, we have semi-permanently closed our dog walking and pet sitting administrative office in Columbia Heights.

Pet Sitting

Our in home overnight pet sitting service will be our only weekend pet sitting service going forward, until at least Labor Day. If you need in home overnight pet sitting, please make your request via our website and your request will be processed within 48 hours. If you need pet sitting visits on a weekend before Labor Day, we’d have to refer you elsewhere and would be happy to make your key available for pick up on weekdays with 24 hours notice at our Columbia Heights location. You can request a key pick up by completing our online form.

Dog Boarding

We have dramatically scaled back our dog boarding operation for the remainder of this year. We will not be offering dog boarding again until Labor Day Weekend September 4-7, 2020. After that, the only dates we’ll be offering dog boarding for the remainder of the year are:

  • September 4-7, 2020 (Labor Day)
  • October 9-12, 2020 (Indigenous People’s Day)
  • November 25-29, 2020 (Thanksgiving)
  • December 23-January 3rd (Christmas/New Years)

We do have plans to transition to a premium slumber party style holiday only dog boarding model starting on Labor Day weekend, please stay tuned for details there as we get back on our feet. We also understand that some of our customers depend on us for dog boarding, which is why we have partnered with a reputable nearby dog ranch to provide an easy alternative. That company is still temporarily closed as a result of COVID-19, but we will announce it as soon as they are re-opened and accepting reservations. You’ll be able to drop off with us and use that service. Any customers who have reservations with us for dog boarding already on dates when we aren’t offering boarding and don’t want to use the partnership, can request a full refund by email to that will be processed the week of June 15.

Dog Day Care 2.0

The Columbia Heights location (for dogs 10 – 25lbs) will re-open on Tuesdays and Thursdays only beginning Tuesday, June 23rd. We’ll be piloting and modeling our long-awaited Dog Day Care 2.0 on those days in anticipation of a full re-launch after the 4th of July, if/when the demand is there. You’ll be able to make reservations for that service through the Gingr software portal beginning Tuesday, June 16th.

The Brookland location will re-open for daycare Monday / Wednesday/ Friday beginning Monday, July 20 for Dog Day Care 2.0, and will scale back up to Monday-Friday operations as soon as is practicable, ideally not later than Labor Day.

Hours: On the days we are open, the hours will be 8am -7pm. Late pick up will not be offered until further notice.

Precautionary Measures: In addition to the precautionary measures outlined above for dog walking, the brick and mortar locations will have the following changes in place:

  • 12-hour shifts for staff so that there is no staff change interaction at mid-day to limit cross-contamination
  • Hospital Grade UV Light/HEPA Filters in all rooms
  • No customers will be allowed inside
  • Contact Free Apple Pay/Google Pay/ Tap Cards will be the only forms of payment accepted at either location, outside. Chip cards and cards that require button pushes or signatures will no longer be accepted
  • iPads for staff Facetime have been added so that staff can easily communicate with each and get support without needing to do so in person. Customers can also make contact for virtual conversations

Upgrades:

  • A drop off vestibule lobby is being built at Columbia Heights and a back door drop off tent is being added at Brookland to enable contact free / open air drop off. Curbside pick up will remain available.
  • We’re upgrading our already good webcams so that customers can feel that they are inside and can see everything from wherever they are.
  • Taking advantage of the down time, the Brookland location is in the midst of adding new Nap Condos in lieu of crates and is completing the facade renovation with new signage and paint which will be done by the time it re-opens July 6th.

Staffing Changes:

  • Our day care managers will remain home until July 6th. Until then Patrick will be managing the day care program
  • The managers are being quite productive using PPP funding to attend dog training and behavior school online.

Transportation: 

  • Unfortunately, none of our van drivers remain employed at Patrick’s Pet Care. Consequently, we do not plan to re-offer day care transportation until September 1, 2020.
  • When we do, it will be re-organized with a bus stop style option to eliminate the need to go in to customer homes to the greatest extent possible. If we can re-launch it sooner, we will.

Dog Grooming

Dog Training

  • Our force free certified dog trainer, Nikita, has been busy doing virtual (and to some extent in-person, outdoor) dog training. Details and rates of that service can be found here. You can book a free 30-minute consultation directly with Nikita via our website form.
  •  Common issues she’s been helping clients with during the pandemic include:
    • Bonding with new Family Members – Communication
    • Loose Leash Walking – Stop the Pulling!
    • Leash Reactivity – Greeting Other Dogs Calmly
    • Crate Training & Separation Anxiety – Stop the whining!
    • Tricks – Tools and games to have fun with your dog
    • Basic Manners: Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Off, Etc

We greatly appreciate your patience, kindness, and support during this re-opening period. We’re grateful to still be here, knowing that many small businesses around our city will never come back.

Sincerely,

Patrick Flynn, Owner

Patrick’s Pet Care