What a weird, and sad, question for Angela and I to write. The short answer is Yes….for this week. We will assess as we go.
If you’re not aware, yesterday Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a Shelter-in-Place order for all but “Essential Businesses ” which takes effect tonight. The full order is attached below. We appreciate Judge Jenkins’ leadership in this are as well as Chad West’s timely information. Angela and I take this virus seriously and believe these drastic measures are the only step towards ending this quickly.
As noted in the email of last week, we’ve changed our procedures accordingly. Most notably starting our car-side service to reduce our human interactions.
Judge Jenkins order has definitely reshaped the economy of the next two weeks by closing non-essential businesses. Some answers to questions you may have:
Is Smart Dog an Essential Business?
- Absolutely … Section 2.b.i. specifically allows for animal care. “Healthcare operations also includes veterinary care and all health and welfare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be viewed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare.” We are technically classified as a vet by the City of Dallas.
- Because Smart Dog is classified as an Essential Business, you are allowed to travel to us just like the grocery store.
Are your employees at risk?
- Our employees work far apart from each other due to the nature of our business …and are already in the habit of washing their hands often….we deal w/ lots of slobber and dog poop.
What if I don’t want to leave my home?
- Our chauffeur service will come to you! Don’t forget we also have a 25% discount on chauffeur services. If you currently have a package, we’ve already added a credit for the discount to your account.
- Our drivers are using extra sanitation procedures, including gloves and anti-bacterial cleaners. Just peek your head out of the front door and hand us the leash. NOTE: We will still be entering homes to pick up dogs if you’re not home.
What other ways can I help?
We have daycare packages and gift cards available for purchase. They never expire and you can use them anytime. These purchases will go directly to our employee’s paychecks.
Remaining open right now is an emotional decision, not an economic one. Our business has decreased by 90% compared to this time last year. We just had to furlough over half of our 16 employees last night – incredible individuals who have put their heart and talents into making sure your pup is loved and cared for. We are trying to help them as much as we can by paying for unused sick and paid time off, as well as helping them navigate the unemployment process. We can’t wait until we are able to re-hire them. With your support, we will try our best to make sure our remaining employees keep their paychecks.
For those of you who have reached out to support us: You will never know how grateful we are. Sending your dogs, sending your love, sending your homemade muffins and warm cookies… You keep reminding us that we aren’t alone. We’ve gotten 16 glowing reviews just in the last few days that tell everyone else how much you love us.
Hug your pup for us.
Love, William and Angela Hildeson
Here is a link to the official Shelter In Place order for Dallas County: