This photo shows Chantel Hunt (front, center) with her staff at deTails Dog Grooming in Mallorytown, Ont. Hunt is frustrated that her roadside job, which was practiced on the roadside during the first wave of the pandemic, was closed during that final lockdown. (Chantel Hunt via the Newswatch Group)
MALLORYTOWN – From skin conditions to excessive hair, an Eastern Ontario dog groomer is frustrated and upset that his job was not considered an essential service during this second lockdown.
In an interview with Newswatch, Chantel Hunt said that her business with curbside service has worked well since April 2020 during the last lockdown and that it was addressed as an essential service in the province’s color-coded system – until the last lockdown that doesn’t allow it.
deTails Dog Grooming in Mallorytown sees about 18 dogs a week.
“We were just shocked and angry and wrote again and asked questions again. Kind of like reinventing the wheel. We thought we had already overcome this hurdle. Everything we’ve been working on all spring and summer was revoked in seconds, ”said Hunt.
She says a lot of people don’t understand that dog grooming isn’t just cosmetic.
“When it comes to taking care of pets, we mostly take care of pets for humans. There are several breeds of dogs whose hair is constantly growing and that you see in trouble – Shih Tzus, poodles. These are the dogs that we have to see regularly every six to eight weeks to take care of them so that they don’t become super matted, and I have several customers who have to have special baths every couple of weeks or who end up at the vet «, explained Hunt.
“It is very worrying that my customers are currently unable to receive these services.”
Hunt says she has been in debt since the first shutdown and now had to lay off her three employees – two snow groomers and a salon manager – after Christmas. At least one is considering changing careers amid the uncertainty of work as the pandemic drags on while another has put plans to buy a home on hold, she said.
“The impact on her finances and her health has been very severe, and I feel terrible for me too. I feel responsibility to them and I feel responsibility to the dogs we had to turn away. It was tough for all of us, ”said Hunt.
She says a group of snow groomers worked with the government to ensure that they are viewed as an essential service.
Some communities like Mississauga do not enforce and allow dog walkers and groomers to open, but that is not the case in eastern Ontario.
In an email to Newswatch, a spokeswoman for Minister of Health Christine Elliott said: “Companies that provide animal care services cannot be open. These are not retail stores according to O. Reg. 82/20. ”Dr. Paula Stewart, a health doctor in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, repeated this position.
Decision on dog grooming up to the chief medical officer of Ontario, says Clark
In an interview with Newswatch Friday, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark said the dog-grooming decision was made by the Ontario Chief Medical Officer for Health, Dr. David Williams, was hit.
“Dog groomers were probably the most active group outside of retail who communicated regularly with the MPP offices,” said Clark.
According to Clark, officials are actively considering the points made to resume dog grooming.
“I am hopeful and optimistic that as we near February 10th there will be a signal that we will return to the color-coded system that should answer most dog groomer calls beforehand,” said Clark. Based on the latest metrics, Clark says Leeds-Grenville would be in the green category.
“There is a possibility that the chief physician could remove some of the restrictions beforehand, but that will be based on data.”
Clark was asked if Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer for Health, misunderstood the profession as a cosmetic service. “Yes, I think dog groomers have done a good job since Boxing Day in indicating what services they have based on the health of the animal versus the services they offer which are more cosmetic. That is the information that is being presented. “
Clark later made it clear that he “didn’t know what information was in front of him in November. I know what information is in front of him now. “
“My message to dog groomers is: I will continue to ensure these factual components of your business are presented to the Chief Medical Officer of Health.”
After that lockdown ended, Clark suggested that “some changes could be made, minor changes based only on what we learned” to ensure that groomers would be let down on future restrictions. That’s up to Williams and the Ontario Department of Health.
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