Closing Temporarily To Non-Essential Workers
March 24, 2020
Clients and Friends,
Unfortunately, we have decided to take a proactive step that it is in the best interest of our staff, clients, and the community to stop providing dog walking and pet sitting services effective tomorrow (Wednesday 3/25). We will continue to provide dog walking services if you are an essential worker and there is no one else in your household to care for your pet. Please let me know if you fall into this category. You only need to tell us that you are an essential worker or your trip is essential. We do not require any proof.
This is certainly a difficult and scary time for all of us. I truly appreciate everyone thinking about us and checking in with us. It has kept me going with a smile on my face. We hope to reopen in the near future, but will only do so when it is safe. I will send another email when we have a reopen date. Until then, please send us pictures of your pets. We seriously miss them - they are a part of our lives and we deeply care for them.
If you are financially able to continue paying for walks without any services being performed, that will help me continue to pay our staff in the weeks or months to come. We also have gift certificates and merchandise available on our website, which will go to our staff. Lastly, you can leave us a review. These reviews help other pet parents find and choose Barksley when looking for pet care. We plan to come back stronger than ever once we all get through this. We cannot wait to be back in the field doing what we love.
A Message About COVID-19
March 15, 2020
Clients and Friends,
The health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our staff is and has always been our top priority. We are taking the Coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously and staying up to date on information about COVID-19 as provided by the CDC and the City of Richmond.
We have increased our standard sanitation practices and are taking safety measures to help prevent the spread of this virus as we continue to provide dog walking and pet sitting services. We are washing our hands and using sanitizer during and between every visit. We ask that our clients also frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces in their home and leave out cleaning supplies so we may do the same during our visits. We moved all meetings to conference calls and asked our staff to practice social distancing and limit or avoid large gatherings of people. We instructed our staff to keep us updated on their health and to stay home if they do not feel well.
We have received an overwhelming number of cancellations due to new work from home policies and cancelled travel plans as a result of COVID-19. As a small business, this is a scary and stressful time for us and our staff. We are a local woman-owned business in the service industry, so this sharp decline in business is impacting us greatly. All of us at Barksley are full-time and rely on dog walking and pet sitting for our income.
If you are working from home and are able to schedule a walk or two with us each week, that would help us tremendously. If you are not able to schedule any services with us during this time, here are some other ways you can support us:
Refer us to a friend, neighbor, or co-worker.
Give us a shout-out on Instagram or Facebook.
Purchase a Barksley t-shirt, hat, dog bandana, or gift certificate. All available for purchase on our website BarksleyRVA.com.
We love our clients and our community. Let's all stick together and get through this. Thank you for your support and understanding. Stay safe and well!
Barksley to Open June 1
May 26, 2020
Barksley is pleased to announce that we will be open to all clients for dog walking and pet sitting services starting Monday, June 1, 2020.
Time To Pet
Also starting on June 1, we will begin using a pet sitting software called Time To Pet for scheduling requests, invoices, payments, and visit updates. It will make scheduling easier and more transparent as well as streamline communication.
What is Time To Pet? Time To Pet is pet sitting software that allows you to update your info, request services, make payments, and communicate with your pet care professionals through the Client App or the Client Portal. At the end of each visit, you will receive an update and photos of your pet through Time To Pet rather than over text. Time To Pet will be replacing the current process of scheduling over email and sending updates with photos over text messages.
What do I need to do? When you are ready to schedule your next service with us, email us at Info@BarksleyRVA.com. We will send you a Time To Pet Welcome Email so you may log in to your Client Portal and get started. We will instruct you how to schedule a service, submit payment, send a message to your walkers/sitters, and receive end-of-visit updates.
I have already scheduled and paid for a service on or after June 1, 2020. What do I need to do? You do not need to email us. You do not have to reschedule. We will be sending you a Time To Pet Welcome Email in the next 1-2 days so you can set up your Client Portal. Look out for this email and follow the instructions once you receive it.
We have implemented a few interim policies to protect our team and our clients during this time. These policies go along with our increased sanitation practices that are currently in place. All COVID-19 policies are listed below and on our website.
Clients with scheduled services or who plan to schedule services must let us know immediately if any person in the household shows any signs of illness.
If no one is home during the scheduled visit, we will come in your home and perform the visit as we normally do.
If someone is home during the scheduled visits, we will arrange 'No Contact' visits where the dog walker does not go in your home and instead you leave the pet in the backyard (or a similar arrangement). We will discuss all details for No Contact visits with each client when scheduling.
Increased Sanitation Practices
This interim policy was implemented on 3/15/20. We are washing our hands at the beginning and end of each visit as well as using hand sanitizer during the visit when needed. We are using our own leashes and harnesses whenever possible rather than those provided by the client. We are wearing face masks when around other people. We are sanitizing our cell phones, keys, and cars frequently.
We ask that our clients also frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces in their home and have cleaning supplies on hand so we may do the same during our visits.
Lastly, we want to thank you for supporting Barksley and our staff over the past few months. The outpouring of support from clients and the community has been heartwarming. We truly appreciate clients checking on us, buying merchandise and gift certificates, and sending donations for "virtual walks." Most of all, thank you for being a Barksley client and trusting in us to care for your pet. We cannot wait to see your pet again!