All of the members of the group have shared openly and honestly as a group, and it is clear that despite all of us fearing for the future of our businesses, our main concern is to ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of not just our teams but our human clients and dogs too.
We have kept abreast of the changing government guidelines for Alert Level 3 and 2, sought advice and support from other industry bodies and as a result we have agreed the following: • We appreciate the move to Alert Level 3, which will commence on 28th April 2020, still presents significant restrictions on everyone’s day to day lives.
• We applaud the government for helping more businesses to open if they can, however we are aware that the focus is not on ALL, but has changed from those that are proven ‘essential’ to those that can prove they are ‘safe.’
• MBIE has been very clear that Pet Services may open only at Alert Level 2 and not under Alert Level 3
• We are all proud that we already uphold high standards of safety and care, as despite the industry not being regulated, we have always drawn our references from the like-minded dog daycare operators around NZ that form this collective.
• We agree with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) that our dogs are not only part of our bubble but are to be treated like any human family member during these Covid Alert levels. • We all feel confident that we could create robust, safe and ‘contactless’ options for our human interactions, however we do not believe that it is possible to maintain that standard when factoring in contact with the dogs.
• Whilst there is no evidence that you can catch Covid-19 directly from your dog, there have been safety issues raised with the virus being transferable from a dog’s coat and the risk of dog to dog / dog to human cross contamination is not clarified enough for us to take the risk on our staff / your behalf.
• We miss the dogs terribly and we know that after such a long lockdown period the dogs will have missed their friends too – so the craving for social interaction with their friends and cuddles from their favourite teachers would put everyone at a higher risk.
• So, with everything taken into consideration we believe that for our dog daycares to STAY SAFE for you, we need to STAY CLOSED until Alert Level 2.
Today, our government confirmed that, all going well, we will be entering Alert Level 3 for two weeks, as of 12.00 am 28th April. We are confident New Zealanders will stay committed to the elimination of Covid-19 and we are hopeful that we will all be able to reopen our doors from Monday 11th May or as soon after as we are permitted.
We look forward to updating you closer to that date. We are proud that despite the extreme circumstances and the need to keep our businesses closed for now, that we have created some great industry relationships, started a valuable support network and can create a sustainable industry working group for the future.
STAY SAFE, STAY CLOSED, STAY HOME