Brian Taylor, known as the “Dogfather of Harlem” by his community, is helping dog owners impacted by the pandemic with free grooming services.
Taylor left a career in finance to pursue being a groomer and opened Harlem Doggie Day Spa. His love of dogs led him to start the business that offers grooming, cage-free boarding, and day care for dogs in New York City.
Just like many other small businesses, he was hit hard during the COVID-19 lockdown and said, “I had to learn how to work alone again and rebuild what I lost. By April, I was down 80% of my business.”
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The pivot point of the pandemic for me is learning how to be one man show. I had to learn how to work alone again and rebuild what I lost. By April, I was Down 80% of my business and some days I thought about giving up. I have a community business so I couldn’t do that because I would be letting a lot of people down. – Check out the article @argosandartemis
Lending A Helping Hand
Harlem Doggie Day Spa has reopened, but since most people aren’t traveling and working from home, Taylor is staying afloat thanks to his grooming skills. His mobile grooming van allows him to travel to his clients’ homes or pick up and drop off dogs. He is taking all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe and only grooms one dog at a time.
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💚Thank you for booking a pup grooming service. I am doing my best to fit as many client as I can. Keep in mind we are working with limited staff and I love to take my time and groom your pup the right way. I am currently working 7 days a week and working off hours to rebuild my business. Please be patient and understanding during these difficult time. 💚🙏🏿 Please Note -All our appointments request are book online. In order to get an approval for grooming service please upload current vaccine records which includes updated Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella without these vaccine we can not groom your pup. 🎊Use Link in Bio to register or book a pup grooming 🎊
Many of his clients and their dogs were thrilled to see him, but with the lockdown many were overdue which led to lots of matted dogs. People that were able to afford to have their dog groomed stepped up to help other dogs in the community.
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“They’ll say, ‘I know other people who can’t afford it — here’s $50.'” He was able to raise $2,000 and help many other dogs in NYC.
But his work is far from over.
Hitting The Road
In addition to his clients’ generosity, he has been offering two or three of his clients free grooming services every month. Seeing all the pets in desperate need of haircuts and de-matting, he decided to take his services on the road and started The Pandemic Pup Relief Tour.
The cross-country tour will start in New York and end in Los Angeles with stops in six major cities along the way. His goal is to help dogs look and feel their best and support other black-owned businesses. He started a GoFundMe page to cover the expenses and help as many people and pets as possible.
“We are giving pet grooming relief to the Pups of America at no cost. The pups need a relief.”
His tour has caught the attention of pet product lines that have donated supplies for Taylor to giveaway for free on the tour. Other pet groomers have also heard about his plan and many have offered to join him when he visits their city and provide more free grooming services.
Pandemic Pup Relief Tour
Taylor’s goal is to groom 100 dogs in each city, including shelter pets to help them find forever homes. “The Pandemic Pup Relief Tour will partner with a local Black Pet Grooming Salon, local Pet Groomers and local shelters in each city to build a team. Our team will service pups from the community whose parents have been impacted by the pandemic,” said Taylor.
The team will remain in each city for two days and hope to educate dog owners on how to reduce matting. “I created this tour for my love of dogs and the joy they bring to their humans. Our pups are a source of happiness, loyalty, companionship, protection and love. They are our family and we have to treat them as such.”
This has been a longtime goal of Taylor’s and he hopes it will, “offer a bit of happiness to pups and their parents experiencing hardships all over our country. I also hope that this tour will help connect Americans of all backgrounds through their love of pups.”
Anyone interested in volunteering or needing their dog groomed can sign up here.
You can help a shelter pet by purchasing an Adoption Makeover Kit. A warm bath and fresh haircut will transform the look and life of a shelter dog. First impressions are important and a well-groomed dog has a higher chance of being adopted. Donate now!
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