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Customers, workers help save local dog grooming business during pandemic

Customers weren’t the only ones giving to keep this business afloat. Some employees have been working without pay for weeks, volunteering their time and helping out.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —

As more businesses reopen during the pandemic, some are trying to catch up just to keep their doors open. One local dog grooming business has been around for close to 30 years and they almost didn't make it through. 

But, then the community stepped up.

WATCH: MADISON COUNTY LEADERS PRAISE RESIDENTS FOR 'LOW' COVID-19 NUMBERS

We spoke with the owner of Pet Pawlor in Madison, Rhonda Steele. She says, “When you’re a ‘giver’ it’s hard to receive and I’ve had to learn this.” 

Pet Pawlor is a dog boarding, day care, and grooming facility in Madison. When COVID-19 changes kicked in, they saw business take a dive. Steele says, “There was no boarding or day care. Because, folks were working from home or canceling their trips, etc. That just left us with grooming. 

A part of the business that usually brings in a fraction the profits became the only means of survival. Steele tells our reporter, “It wasn’t enough to meet overhead or payroll. Because that’s only one third of the business.” 

But then, one special customer started a giving challenge, and everything changed.  Steele says, “Trevor, himself, came in and he said, ‘I’ve been thinking, you guys can’t go anywhere. I need you. So many of us need you here.’” 

Trevor Bowers agreed to match up to $500 of the donations given to keep the shop open. He doesn’t want much recognition for his challenge, but Ronda Steele says, it helped make a difference that can’t be repaid. 

Customers weren’t the only ones giving to keep this business afloat. Some employees have been working without pay for weeks, volunteering their time and helping out. They say, they didn’t hesitate to step up. 

Jayne Dillon, a Pet Pawlor employee and now volunteer says, “I didn’t really take me long to realize I was going to be volunteering. I was able to do it. And I knew we had to do something to keep this business going.”

David Morrow, a Pet Pawlor employee, and now volunteer says, “It feels good to be volunteering for something as important as this. But yeah, I enjoy it.” 

Pet Pawlor even takes care of a few pups that have come into their care without loving homes-- some have stayed as many as 5 years now---with a new family that loves them. 

Employees say all this work is going into preserving something special. Pet Pawlor has been open for 28 years, and they hope to see 28 more. 

To connect with Pet Pawlor and see how you can help, click here

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