LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In the 15 years since he opened The Local Wag's owner, Clayton Harvey, said there's nothing like the impact COVID-19 has had on his business.
"There's no manual for this," he said. "I can't go back and say, 'Oh, last time this happened, this is how we adjusted and this is how we did things'. There's no there's no track record.
Friday The Local Wag transitioned to curbside pick up and drop off for all animals spending the day at the doggy daycare. Dogs are also no longer allowed to enter the location wearing leashes and collars from home.
"Even though the COVID-19 does not affect dogs--they can't contract it and actually get sick from it--they can be a carrier for it," said Harvey. "It can exist on their on their leashes, it can exist on their collars and can exist on their fur."
A sign is posted on the door with the daycare's phone number so people can call when they're outside with their pets. A worker comes out with a leash from the store and takes the dog inside using it. They're also washing their leashes in between every use.
"We just feel that's the best and the safest thing for the animals, for the owners and for our staff," said Harvey.
While they're enacting several measures to ensure people's health and safety, The Local Wag is seeing a decline in business as more people work from home. Harvey said they've had multiple cancellations throughout the week due to changing circumstances like business trips being cancelled.
"We're trying to find ways that we can continue to operate in some capacity safely, but also continue to have some type of cash flow because I want to keep all of my people employed, I want to be able to give them paychecks."
Harvey said they're feeling the same pressure at the daycare that other small businesses are experiencing as daily life changes due to COVID-19.
"I mean, this these are the things as a small business owner, we don't know what to do. There's no there's no playbook. There's no game plan," he said.
However, Harvey said he hopes to keep his doors open as long as possible so those who need to continue going to work can rest easy knowing their pets are cared for during the day.
"We have owners who who are in situations where they may not be able to work from home. They may be first responders, they're hospital workers, they're doctors, they're their nurses," he explained. "That's where we want to continue to be able to step in and be good stewards for them in place of the care of that they might not be able to give their dog at this time."
If you'd like to make a reservation for your pet to spend the day at The Local Wag, you can do so via their website.