Reopening California: Pet grooming resumes in Alameda County after closure due to COVID-19

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Pet grooming companies are allowed to open in Alameda County Monday. After the long shutdown, the humans say they are happy to be pampering the pets again.

"I am just so thankful to be reopening and to be able to care for my dog clients. I just care about them so much," said Suzanne Estep, owner of Happy Dog Spa in Oakland.

She says being closed was stressful.

"I certainly couldn't have been able to sustain being closed much longer. We lost thousands and thousands of dollars. I had to lay my employees off during this time. It was scary, very scary," she said.

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The owner of Drummond's Pet Grooming in Alameda agrees, it was a frustrating time.

"They needed service. It has been very hard to tell people 'I can't wash your dog or I can't get the mats out of their hair'. It has been really tough. I didn't have any clarification either. I did my best to keep everyone informed," said owner Nicholas Drummond.

Estep points out grooming is a health issue, saying foxtails in the summer months are a big concern.

"If we aren't keeping the hair short and brushed out they can get those foxtails and it causes a lot of havoc with their health," she said.

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Now they are super busy trying to fit everyone in. Drummond says he got 70 to 80 phone calls Friday night when Alameda County announced pet groomers could reopen.

"It has been insane. Demand has been through the roof. I am booked out already till the end of June but by the time I get through callbacks it should be September or October by the time we have any openings," he said.

There was some confusion on the first day of reopening. Estep had set an appointment with a client a few weeks ago for Monday in the hopes that they would be open. The client, and his three dogs, did not show up.

"He just didn't realize we were open," she said with a sigh.

They want to get the word out - they are open and ready to pamper your pets.

RELATED: Pets under shelter-in-place: Are dogs and cats happier now that we're home all the time? We asked experts

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