The COVID19 outbreak is a serious epidemic. It’s possible all travel in and out of New York City will be shut down. Furthermore, the government does not have this situation under control and no one is showing any leadership. No one created this situation and no one is doing anything to prevent an epic catastrophe.
In other countries, medical professionals have shown incredible dedication and bravery. These risks and suffering of dedicated professionals would not be necessary with some leadership. We are too far into this epidemic to be acting like the situation is normal.
All we do is take care of dogs. Dogs do not seem to get or transmit the virus. We plan to continue to do what we do as safely as possible. Also, we do not know for sure that we will be back to normal by this summer.
Below I offer some explanations I hope you have time to read. In case you are in a hurry, I am offering a few key bullet points. We here at Glencadia are instituting the following policies:
- Any request for a refund of a reservation booked prior to March 10, 2020 that is made 24 hours prior to the start of the boarding will be refunded in 60 days. We will honor the terms and conditions in the original reservation. However, we are placing a 60-day hold on cash refunds in order to try to avoid a cash flow problem that might jeopardize our ability to operate.
- Anyone who volunteers to forgo the cash refund will be granted a credit toward their next boarding of the value of the deposit plus 50%. You earn a 50% bonus in boarding credits that you can use any time in the next five years. We have been operating since 2005 by the way.
- We have “escape from New York” services. Stays longer than 15 days start at $25 a night ($375 for two weeks) and those longer than 24 days are only $18 a night ($540 a month). Even bigger discounts for two dog families. We will pick up your dog in a well-scrubbed van, take him/her off your hands for a while, give them a cool, fun farm experience, and return him/her when the crisis is over. This doesn’t apply to existing reservations; only NEW ones.
- Please help us load and unload dogs in a way that is safe for everyone. Ideally, the client dropping off the dog and the driver picking up the dog should not get more than three feet (one meter) from each other. After putting on the leash and handing back the client’s leash, both the driver and the customer should wash their hands.
- If you come to camp, there won’t be any tours. We can accept dogs at the fence outside but are restricting access to the building. There is no way to get in and out of the building without touching surfaces or coming within three feet of something else.
- If you are coughing or have a fever will only pick up your dog if we can arrange for you to leave the dog somewhere more than nine feet away from the driver and if you wear a mask or scarf over your face. The driver will not come within nine feet of a sick person.
I am also making the following recommendations:
- Avoid or limit any activity that brings you within three feet of other people and wash your hands for thirty-second with soap and water immediately after touching any surface outside your home. If you live in New York City, this might be very hard. You should think about getting out of New York before they shut down the subway if possible. They should have shut down all transport yesterday.
- If walking your dog regularly or owning a dog while trying to find a place to hunker down for a few weeks outside of the city is a problem, send your dog to camp. We can safely continue to board dogs during the outbreak. For open-ended reservations, book for a week and then extend if necessary.
- When hospitals are overwhelmed and people who need intensive care are unable to get inside, a possibility in about a week or so, what will happen to your dog? We are not going to be able to pick up your dog if you are actively sick.
This epidemic is no joke. I would really think carefully about the near future. I think we’re in for a doozy. All we can do is help with dog care. We plan to stay in business, stay healthy, take care of dogs as needed and do not intend for a “run on the bank” to bankrupt and ruin the business due to a short term cash flow problem.
In It’s a Wonderful Life George Bailey avoids a run on the bank by appealing to the better angels of his depositors. That scene comes to mind right about now with the financial chain reaction to coronavirus. Like George Bailey, I will kindly ask you to read this short entry before requesting a refund on any future stay for your dog at Glencadia and before booking a new reservation. Below, I will explain our policies and why and what we plan to do.
The reason why we are trying to avoid cash refunds is pretty obvious if you think about it. We are a business with busy times (summer, Christmas, etc.) and slower times. We use the 50-50 deposit system (50% at the time of reservation and 50% at the beginning of the dog’s stay at camp) to even out the cash flow throughout the year and enable us to pay people to work here all year around. In the times when we have fewer dogs, we have more time to do maintenance and expansion. Just this month we ordered sand, lime, hay, paint, wire, and wood to build more fenced areas, repair, resurface, and improve interior and outside areas. By June, when we really pick up with dogs work for several months, we hope to have everything clean, safe, and beautiful.
So the deposit you made for your dog’s stay here later in the year is not sitting in the bank. It went into the pocket of Vern, Gary, Gabe, and our other hardworking people. and to buy stuff we need to make the place nice for dogs. It’s gone. We would have to borrow and pay interest to pay it back to you. If necessary, we will do just that. We’re going to go into the red if necessary and hopefully try not to stop construction and maintenance and fire people who need money to feed their families and hope the virus scare is over by the summer and everyone comes back.
As for the actual virus, there was one case of a positive result in a dog but that seems to have been a false positive. We will have all the windows open and a massive fan running so that we don’t spread the disease around the people who work here and wash our hands and keep on trucking.
Here we are spending the deposits we took for future boarding:
See? We used up deposits trying to make the place as safe and clean as possible, cleaning all surfaces both inside and outside areas.