Perfect holiday for pet owners in danger due to reserved boarders

Borders around Auckland will officially lift on December 15 and locals are chomping at the bit to visit friends and family across the country for Christmas. But what about your family members who cannot travel with you?

Photo: 123RF

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

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

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

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

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

“Talking to one or two of the owners of these, they’ve been in exactly the same position as us, unfortunately turning people away because they don’t have the room.”

After months of lockdown and missed revenue, Langley said the surge in bookings was bringing a welcome change.

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

He said Christmas and summer bookings are crucial.

“It’s when you earn a little money that will provide for the slow period during the rest of the year, it’s 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 the weekend from work and we were almost full for those, we missed, we didn’t not received this income at all and we still have our bills to pay.”

Sharon Partridge of Pets in Whitford said the past few months have been difficult.

“It’s been very difficult. I think everyone’s in the same boat, but obviously people can’t leave, so we haven’t had that boarding income.”

Offering other services helped soften the blow.

“Fortunately we were able to open for grooming and daycare at level 3 but without that it would have been quite difficult. We applied for grants and got help from the government but it didn’t quite go Quite to be honest, it’s been a tough time.”

Partridge said the announcement of the border opening saw a surge in bookings for them, so if Aucklanders want to secure a place for Christmas they will need 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.

“The phones and the emails went crazy,” she said.

“A lot of people are calling to book, a few days before the announcement when they said we would be able to get out of town, we got a lot of bookings as well, so we booked in pretty quickly.”

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

“My advice would be to book now but try to plan your trip outside of the busy Christmas period – we have loads of places from 3 or 4 January so maybe you are going for that second week of the holiday Christmas, you’re kind of guaranteed a spot then.”

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

“The new dogs we are seeing are quite nervous. We need pet parents to communicate to us that their dog hasn’t had much socialization or had them just before lockdown, and that way, we can help them find the right day and the right playgroup to match them in order to facilitate their integration into daycare.”

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