TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Pet salons in Massachusetts will be able to reopen starting on Monday, but the owners and their staff must follow new state guidelines.
Deb Stukus, owner of Paws Above in Taunton, has been in the dog-grooming business for more than a decade.
“Sometimes we have birds come in, and bunnies to have their nails clipped, and cats,” she said. “We pretty much do them all.”
Stukus said like many other grooming businesses in the area, her phone has been ringing off the hook.
“I’m completely, completely booked,” she said. “I’m probably going to be booked out for a couple of weeks, and I still haven’t returned everyone’s calls.”
Stukus’ facility offers a full groom which includes a nail trim, ear cleaning, hair cut and conditioning treatment.
“We don’t use hot air dryers here, because it’s very dangerous, and our tables are up against the walls for safety purposes,” she added.
She said prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, her salon also offered a unique service.
“Before all of this, I was able to have people come in and stay with their dogs,” Stukus said.
Under the state’s new requirements, pet owners won’t be able to come inside at all, according to Stukus.
“I have to bring out my own lead or leash and use that to take the dog and bring it into my salon,” she explained.
The grooming tables at Paws Above are 12 feet apart, Stukus noted, also joking that she has enough cleaning products to open her own store.
“Every item, every workplace in my salon — the tables the bathtub, the crates — all have to be washed when a dog exits or when they come in and we pick them up. All of that has to be cleaned,” she said.
When you call to make an appointment, Stukus said groomers need to know if you’ve come into contact with anyone infected with the virus.
“That also includes their fur baby,” she added. “If the fur baby is in the household and it’s been in contact with its owner, the dog needs to be quarantined for two weeks before I can take them here as a new client or even as an existing client.”
Stukus said she can’t wait to get back to work.
“I miss my customers,” she said. “They’re my friends too, and I can’t wait to see their fur babies again. This is my life.”
While pet groomers were shut down in Massachusetts, they remained open in Rhode Island.
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