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Dog kennels also struggling as coronavirus shuts down busy season

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 5:49 PM EDT
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Thursday, March 26, 2020

News 12 at 6 O’Clock

AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- We should be getting into the busy season for dog kennels in our area with spring break and other vacations coming up, but right now they're struggling to stay in business

“I've probably lost close to $3,000 already,” Winding Lane Kennel owner Kelli Hofstetter.

The start of spring is one of the busiest times of the year for dog kennels.

“That's as big of a holiday as our Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Hofstetter said.

But if people aren't leaving their homes, neither are their dogs.

“We're getting no calls,” Hofstetter said. “We're getting cancellations. Back to back cancellations. It's pretty sad.”

Winding Kennels in Aiken is holding eight dogs for local rescues. Because of a partnership, the rescues only pay $5 per dog per day.

“I'm only bringing in $40 per day vs. $25 per dog per day,” Hofstetter said. “At this rate, we won't stay open past April.”

It's a similar story at Graced Kennel in Augusta. A few weeks ago, this 100-pet kennel was booked. Nearly everyone has canceled.

“We've only got four boarders,” Graced Kennel manager Cherish Danforth said.

They also have some dogs thanks to rescue partnerships, but 75 percent of the kennels are empty.

“My biggest thing is I wanna keep everybody employed,” Danforth said. “We have people in recovery in here. We have people with backgrounds where they couldn't get hired other place.”

Thanks to online training and donations from customers, they've managed to stay open, but time is running out.

“It was day by day and now it's week to week. So we've got enough to go about a week and a half more,” Danforth said.

Every dog that's at the kennels costs a certain amount of money for training, food, stuff like that, so a big thing you can do is actually sponsor a dog to help pay for that. Also keep a lookout on Facebook for other events and ways to help out.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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