907 | 455 | 6414

Fairbanks, Alaska

Hello to existing and future clients! This is to share an insight of what and how we do our job at Holy Dog.

 

Holiday rates for dogs $27 per day per dog

2 dog Holiday rate is $54 per day

Cats and other animals are $15 a day

2 cat Holiday rate is $26 a day

 

Regardless how other boarding/pet businesses are run, we have chosen a method that has served us well for many years. In the past we have had some staff that have been lax on our policy and in turn our routine for the pet guests have suffered. We ask you to please read and respect our policy so that we can better serve your pet and you.

There are half-day charges depending on when you drop off or pick up.

We are appointment only, That means you must set a specific time that we put on our books for your drop off and or pick up. We HAVE to require this and ask that you respect that. We are always okay if you need to call or message us to a change; we just ask for a minimum of 2-hour notification.

If you schedule to pick up for 10 am, 10:15 am, or 10:30 am there is no charge for that morning. Anything after it is a half-day pick up charge. We will adhere to this, no exceptions. We may or may not explain this upon the initial phone reservation. The reason for this is we have limited time in each day and in order for us to stay on our schedule we appreciate being able to expedite all reservations. We will ask you to review our policy on our web site. We can also assist you on how long it will take to arrive safely to Holy Dog from your current location.

If you drop off at a specific scheduled time in the afternoon window of 4pm -6 pm it is a half day charge. If you pick up within the afternoon window of 4pm -6 pm it is a full day charge.

On our new web site, www.holydoginc.com , it is also posted how we charge. You can also conveniently reserve a boarding stay through our site as well. We have also posted this in our office and entryway. Here is a link to our required paperwork (click here) for you to fill out as well.

 

Sometimes we have new staff or seasoned staff that are not normally in the office that may interact with you. If they don’t know the answer to something they will find out for you and do the best they can, please have patience with them and refrain from being rude. Keep in mind, they are worried about the duties in the back with the dogs they need to get back to. These people are an asset to us at Holy Dog and generally strive to do their best but may be learning customer service skills. They are the ones that have amazing care giving skills for our guests. If there is a problem they cannot handle they do know to refer to management as soon as possible. It is not feasible for us to have someone up front in our office at all times at this point in time.

 

We have raised our rates for the HOLIDAYS December 16th - January 3rd.

We have had some complaints  (not many) about our holiday rate, I’ve also heard that we are the most expensive in town, we are not but we also do A LOT more for our guests than other places in town which does create a larger, more expensive overhead/ payroll.

 

There are many reasons why and we are open to list those reasons to share with our clients or future clients the amount of work it goes into caring for your amazing pets. Often there are misconceptions about the kind and amount of work that we do. We are not, unfortunately, playing with dogs all day long! (I wish!) All playtime is scheduled.

 

Our payroll is very high, off season or holiday season. Some is due to the amount of temporary help we need to hire and then train is costly. We expect 100% from our staff and if we get less than that we absolutely must look for people that can give 100%.

In order for the kennel to run optimally, we must have 8 – 10 trained staff; off  season and 10-14; holiday seasons.

Our manager, and our 3 other main employees that I appreciate and trust like no other average about 50-60 (sometimes more) hours a week to compensate for the staffer that we may be training or we have found is only giving about 70%. Please know that I have staff who are extremely devoted and caring towards your pets. We are actively looking to replace that type of staffer however it can be extremely difficult in this town.

My amazing staff does deserve to be compensated way more than we are able to at this point.

Often we get offers of a teenaged child to come and work, Thanks! we will carefully consider that individual and the kennel needs however we only employ a small amount of teenage staff and generally we need mature adults with experience.  Adult trained staff can handle and spot any emergency, safely handle fear and dog on dog aggressive dogs, other problem solving, among many other things. We do not allow teens to do a lot of things due to safety, experience, and knowledge. Teens can make great helpers but we will only hire them as helpers as we look for experienced people with not just dogs, but life experience, previous professional pet experience, and those that are constantly continuing their education in anything pet related such as vet tech, behavior, and training (science based only).

 

We average about 90-150 guests during the holidays. If that sounds like a lot of animals, it is. We are well versed in the ability to care for high amounts of dogs better than any average person or kennel. This is what we do daily. We NEED to have our holiday numbers high to offset our slow times in the fall and spring in order to just make payroll and pay bills. That is the nature of all boarding kennels. Some kennel owners work a full time job in addition to running their boarding; we don’t. This is what we do full time.

 

We assign staff to an area with a certain amount of manageable dogs and they must perform their duties of potty, feed, medicate, record all info on each dogs chart (30-50 charts) then meticulously clean each enclosure, they must also perform wellness checks on each dog, rotate play groups, take pictures of all of them. They must also restock each area plus do laundry, dishes, and even more cleaning. Scooping feces as it happens is mandatory.  This is with no other interruptions from the phone or front door. There are other variables that also happen before this is repeated.

We repeat most of this up to 5 or 6 times a day. That means we are on a very tight time schedule to get things done within every shift. If a staff member can’t finish, then they leave it for a burden on the next shift.

Some things that may add to each shift are, fearful dogs, aggressive dogs, dogs on medications or require things like ear cleaning or bandage changes, dogs that cant hold their potty, etc.

We then have a whole list of extras and activities such as ½ mile and 1 mile walks, baths and grooming, etc. that also have to get done at and by a certain time.

Our manager generally does all of the check ins/outs, answers the phones, etc.

Only a select few can do baths, nails, training, and certain other activities.

 

Although we are not a rescue, we also currently have about 8 – 10 dogs up for adoption at Holy Dog. We are actively looking to place these dogs in the correct forever home but some are not easy dogs and require that special circumstance. These are dogs that were mostly former clients, or we were asked for the specialty of the case to help because we are very good at handling certain types of shy dogs. These fosters add to our work and cost us money, a lot of money. Our goal is that once these dogs are places is to limit our ability to help to only 2 at a time.

 

We also have a few foster cats. We are animal lovers to a fault and it is very difficult for us at times. The downfall in our business is charging what we are worth. We often feel guilty for what we do charge, which is just bad business.

 

So after payroll, insurance, and all other utilities we are generally at the end of our means and must prepare for the next month. This does not factor in any type of repairs or maintenance, savings or other unforeseen expenses.

 

There are other places that are cheaper. Cheaper isn’t always better and you get what you pay for. We encourage potential and existing clients to schedule a tour with us and to tour any place they may consider. Ask questions. How do they care for the guests, where, and when? And then who? And how qualified are these staff members. We welcome any such conversation.

We can only do scheduled tours. I’ve heard advice to surprise any place for a tour to see what its really like or call within a few hours, then tour.

The amount of work we do does not allow for any type of  “cover up” of conditions or any nonsense like that. We will gladly give people a tour if scheduled but not to any drop ins. Drop ins will create a need to exclude client/pets from play groups or take staff away from other scheduled activities.

 

We LOVE our clients! Long time clients and new clients. We have developed friendships/relationships with a lot of you! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE! Thank you for understanding! Please know that we are always striving to improve what we do. We have already incorporated a lot of positive change at Holy Dog in the past year that we are excited about and we are able to improve the level of service we provide. We have plans for even more amazing, positive changes that we can’t wait to share with you!

Thank you again for your support of my small & amazing business and staff, Holy Dog! Inc. Exceptional Pet Care

Roxanne & Kenai

 

 

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