Canal Bark Recovering After Tough Pandemic Year

Before the pandemic, about 50 to 70 dogs would board at Canal Bark per night, now owners said they're improving at 10-15 per night.

DULUTH, Minn.- As people are slowly starting to travel again, doggy daycare facilities like Canal Bark are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after a quiet year.

Before the pandemic, about 50 to 70 dogs would board at Canal Bark per night.

But last year, there were no more than 5 at a time throughout 2020. So the business relied more on their daycare and puppy academy classes.

While Canal Bark is doing better now with an average of 10-15 dogs per night, owner Andrea Schokker said it’s nowhere near the pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re really thankful that we’re still open, after all of last year there’s certainly been times where we weren’t sure what the next month held for us,” Schokker said, “but we think we’re gonna make it and we have such great loyal customers that that’s been a big part of it.”

Schokker said she had to lay off some employees when the pandemic began from her total staff of five full time and about 25 part time employees.

Many of them were brought back with the first round of PPP loans, and she said now all 30 are back working.

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