'We can't survive on welfare grooms' - Dog parlours slam lockdown roadmap

Leanne Bunn, of Clippers Dog Grooming in North Walsham, with Barney the dog.

Sarah Knights, of Happy Paws Dog Grooming in North Walsham, with Barney the dog. - Credit: Supplied

Dog parlour owners have called for clarity about when they will be allowed to reopen under the roadmap out of lockdown.

While dog parlous have had to close during the latest lockdown, they have still been able to groom badly matted dogs or dogs with claws in a state that would harm their paws, or via vet referrals.

But many dog owners have their pets groomed every four to six weeks by professionals, and parlour owners are keen to reopen as soon as possible.

Sarah Knights, of Happy Paws dog grooming salon in North Walsham, said: "It appears that from March 8 we will be returning to what appears to be Tier 4 restrictions. 

“As a dog groomer who was considered essential during Tier 4 it seems ridiculous that this may no longer be the case and still be restricted to just grooming welfare cases.

Leanne Bunn, of Clippers Dog Grooming in North Walsham, with Ozzy.

Leanne Bunn, of Clippers Dog Grooming in North Walsham, with Ozzy. - Credit: Supplied

“Schools are allowed to reopen with hundreds of children mixing yet I can't return to my place of work, where I am not mixing with anyone apart from the drop off and pick up of dogs which can easily be done with social distancing."

Leanne Bunn, of Clippers Dog Grooming in North Walsham, said: “As a dog groomer, my main priority is dogs' health and welfare. It’s really difficult because we aren’t allowed to groom dogs regularly to prevent them becoming matted and uncomfortable, we are only allowed to help once the dog is already suffering.

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“Most of us aren’t getting any financial support, as we are not on the forced to close list. We cannot survive on welfare grooms alone, they make up about 3pc of our custom."

Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, said he understood dog groomers' frustration and had lobbied on their behalf.

“I have helped many get additional grants during the latest lockdown and will keep doing what I can”, he said.

“We have to just see when now essential retail is safely allowed to open and I feel sure then groomers can too."

Alexandra Baker, chief operating officer of the Pet Industry Federation, said: “The Pet Industry Federation is acutely aware of the need for all pet businesses, including pet groomers, to have clarity about how the roadmap affects their businesses, so that they can plan and prepare for re-opening at the right time."

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