Covid 19 Delta outbreak: vacations for pet owners at risk due to full boarders

There have been 149 new cases of Covid today – including a new low-positive case in Canterbury. 83 people are hospitalized, including five in intensive care. Video / NZ Herald

By Ellie Jay for RNZ

Borders around Auckland will be officially lifted on December 15, and residents are scrambling to visit friends and family across the country for Christmas. But what about family members who can’t travel with you?

Auckland’s catteries, dog sitters and kennels have been inundated with bookings since the border opening was announced last week, as the Aucklanders try to find a place their pets can stay for. their vacation.

Patrick Langley is the owner of the Boutique Cattery in Ramarama, near the southern border of Auckland.

“We’ve been full for Christmas since April, but the day they announced the border or no border on the 15th, we were inundated with booking requests for the Christmas period,” he said.

“I think we ended up with 16 reservation requests, but we had to turn everyone down because we can’t leave room for other cats just to rush them… that’s not what we do .

“All the catteries I know in Auckland are full and have been for some time.

“Speaking to one or two of the owners of these, they were in exactly the same situation as us, unfortunately turning people down because they don’t have the room.”

After months of foreclosure and missed revenue, Langley said the increase in bookings brought welcome change.

“We haven’t been busy at all and it has had a real financial impact on us.”

He said Christmas and summer bookings are crucial.

“It’s the time that we earn a little money that will provide for the slack periods during the rest of the year, it is sometimes feast or famine with catteries and other businesses like ours but it will help. “

“We will never get back the money we lost, here we go. Obviously we missed the school holidays on work weekends and we were almost full for those, we missed that, we have not received this income at all and we still have our bills to pay. “

Sharon Partridge of Pets at Whitford said the past few months have been tough.

“It was very difficult. I think everyone is in the same boat, but obviously people can’t leave, so we didn’t have that boarding income.”

Providing other services helped cushion the shock.

“Fortunately we were able to open for grooming and daycare at level 3, but without it it would have been quite difficult. We applied for grants and received government help, but it wasn’t quite enough to be honest, these are tough times. “

Partridge said the announcement of the border opening has resulted in a wave of bookings for them, so if the Aucklanders are to secure a seat for Christmas they will have to get in quickly as they are nearly full.

Complete Canine Care in Penrose offers grooming, daycare and overnight stays and center manager Lacey Knox said they have been rushed since the announcement.

“Phones and emails have gone crazy,” she said.

“Lots of people called to book, a few days before the announcement, when they said we would be able to leave town, we also had a lot of bookings at that time so we booked pretty quickly. . “

Their company has a waiting list, but Knox said frustrated pet owners might also consider changing their boarding dates if possible.

Covid

“My advice would be to book now, but try to plan your trip outside of the busy Christmas season – we have loads of spaces starting Jan 3rd or 4th so maybe you are heading out for that second week. Christmas vacation you’re somehow guaranteed a place then. “

Knox said people who have recently had new dogs should know that their pooch is used to being with family 24/7, so they might need to do a bit of extra preparation.

“The new dogs that we are seeing are quite nervous. We need the pet parents to communicate with us that their dog hasn’t had a lot of socialization or that they had them just before the lockdown, and to this way we can help them find the right day and the right playgroup to match them to help them ease their entry into daycare. ”

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