Updated March 25, 2020

Dear Dog-Ma Packsters,

We hope this note finds everyone healthy and safe.

Dog-Ma plans to remain open, unless and until the D.C. government requires us to shut down, for as long as our clients need our services. The city has provided conflicting guidance on doggy daycare status under D.C. Mayor Bowser’s order last night on closure of additional non-essential businesses. (The Mayor’s list of essential businesses includes “animal care services,” but does not explicitly list doggy day cares.)

We are keen to stay open so we can continue to pay as many staff for as long as possible AND provide everyone’s pups with a safe place to get healthy exercise and play and to provide essential boarding services.

So, to further maximize the health and safety of our staff and clients, starting Friday we will be operating a bit differently. Our goal is to be able to provide your pups and you with the services you need and want, while minimizing an unnecessary people-to-people contacts, including by reducing operating hours so staff who rely on public transportation to get to work can stay home.

Hours will now be 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM weekdays, with no weekend daycare. Boarding will be done via home stays with managers Beth and Bethany and we ask folks to only board for essential needs, as space is limited. (So, for instance, for our clients who board during their hospital shifts, military watch-duty shifts, etc. we will continue to be able to give your pup loving boarding care while you are working, fear not!) 

Given we now have about one-quarter the normal number of dogs attending daycare since March 9, we have had to cut staffing hours. (That said, to try to keep hours up, for the past two weeks we have had staff coming to in do painting and doing other work that we had budgeted to contract out later this summer.) We would like to offer a special thanks to the clients who have contacted us to continue to pay despite not needing to bring in your pups right now. Though you did not request this, we will keep your payments on your account as credit forward.

For anyone else who is able, please consider paying forward for future daycare or boarding and we will credit your account. We would like to keep as many staff getting paid for as long as possible. And also, we want to make sure we have funds to cover healthcare even if we are shut down. (And yes, we will be applying for the DC emergency small business relief program, because the rent, insurance and other fixed costs continue whether we are open or shut…)

That’s all for now. We will be back in touch as needed. Take good care everyone.

-Lori, Beth and Bethany