The novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted economies around the world.
Brian Taylor’s business is one of many that saw a drastic decline when New York City’s shelter-in-place began. The former banker owns and operates Harlem Doggie Day Spa, which provides canine day care, boarding, walking, and grooming.
“I went from seeing 400 to 500 dogs a month now down to about less than half of that,” Brian said. “Most of my clients aren’t traveling and are working from home.”
Although his shop is closed, Brian has continued caring for dogs using his mobile grooming van. He quickly realized that many of his regular clients can no longer afford to have their pups professionally groomed, so he decided to donate his services two or three times a month to help out!
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“Owners want their dog to smell good,” he explained. “Dogs are such a big part of our life. Especially when you can’t find happiness from people.”
When his clients found out about his Pandemic Pup Relief Fund, they started donating to their fellow dog lovers who are going through tough financial times. “They’ll say, ‘I know other people who can’t afford it — here’s $50,” Brian said.
With their support, he raised $2,000 and was able to groom 12 dogs for free! Brian has definitely earned his nickname of “The Dogfather of Harlem” because he clearly loves all things canine — and is willing to go above and beyond for them!
“The name is self-proclaimed,” he added. “Anything related to dogs in Harlem and New York, I’ve always been involved, or my business has supported it.”
After the success of his local relief fund, Brian decided to become a “Dogfather” to needy pups across the U.S. He’s planning an eight-day cross-country road trip from New York City to Los Angeles in July. As he goes, he will stop and offer free grooming and supplies in every major city!
“I am going to close the shop for three weeks. This is something I’ve been trying to do for years, and now I understand what I need to do,” he explained. “Hopefully, in every city, we can give away free products and teach people to reduce matting.”
He will also be supporting Black-owned animal businesses whenever he can!
Brian announced the big trip on Facebook, and his fans leapt at the chance to contribute to his cause! Other groomers are volunteering to help Brian for free when he comes to their cities, and product companies are coming forward with offers of free supplies.
“We are going to stop and groom dogs at no cost,” Brian said. “You have to show people how passionate you are. It just feels good.”
This awesome business owner is making a difference one grooming session at a time. What a beautiful way to give back!
Share this story to wish Brian well on his journey.
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