'It has been really tough': Chesterfield dog boarding business struggling to make ends meet in lockdown warns of mass kennel closures before summer

The owner of a Chesterfield dog boarding businesses has warned many kennels could be forced to close before summer after struggling through lockdown without financial help from the Government.

Caroline Tilley, 41, who runs Doggie Home From Home in New Whittington, has lost 80 per cent of her day care bookings due to people being forced to work at home and a large proportion of holiday boarding reservations following restrictions on international travel.

The business, which operates from Caroline’s home, is just covering bills and surviving on savings as everyone apart from key workers are instructed to work from home.

It comes after new research by The Good Kennel Guide found that more than half of the nation’s licensed boarding kennels will be forced out of business before the summer, sparking an animal welfare crisis ahead of a much-anticipated and busy holiday season.

Caroline Tilley seen with dog Kaiser runs a dog boarding business called Doggie Home From Home from her home but has been struggling to keep the business going in lockdown.

Caroline said: "Luckily, we've had quite a few bookings for August, September, October for boarding and they all pay a deposit to confirm the booking so that boosts us a little bit.

"As things get lifted, with people going back to work, there will be more day boarding so I don't think we are at risk at all.

"But if we went on another six months in full lockdown it would have a massive effect, especially as we've not had any grants.”

She called on the Government to do more to support dog boarding businesses and kennels and prevent mass closures, as feels they are one of the ‘forgotten’ industries during the ongoing pandemic.

“It has been tough, it's really frustrating.

“There has been no support from the government for home based businesses.

"There's going to be a massive shortfall when everybody does go back to work and an animal welfare issue because you've got all these dogs that are used to having their owners at home with them 24/7 and used to having company all the time being left on there own.

"Animals always tend to fall down the cracks and it is the last thing that is thought of.”

The concern comes after a rise in the number of people buying or rescuing dogs during lockdown.

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