HANOVER (CBS) – Cheryl Purcell and her daughter Krystal Purcell-Sullivan feel “100 percent” confident they could safely open the doors to Pooch Paws, their Hanover grooming salon and mobile grooming station.
“We already wear face masks, we wear gloves,” Cheryl told WBZ. “We clean between each dog.”
Once COVID-19 began spreading in Massachusetts, they put gates up in their front lobby to allow for no contact dog drop off, so the only people who they would see are the handful of groomers and the dogs. They purchased face shields and UV sanitizing equipment for grooming tools.
However, the shop has been closed for seven weeks, like many businesses deemed non-essential in Massachusetts. All Purcell’s employees are laid off.
Despite pressure from customers, Purcell told WBZ she decided to stay completely closed until the end of the stay-at-home order. “I couldn’t risk losing my business license,” she said.
But when she heard Thursday that Governor Charlie Baker allowed golf courses to reopen immediately and a federal judge ordered Massachusetts gun shops to reopen, she was crushed. “To hear that was just like a slap in the face,” she said. “It’s a joke now, to me.”
Purcell, along with other groomers, have submitted proposals and requests to the governor’s office to allow them to safely reopen, since their clients – the dogs – aren’t known to be carriers of COVID-19. Each time, they’ve been denied.
Governor Charlie Baker told reporters Thursday he agreed to let golf courses reopen following a safe model already being used by other states that involves social distancing and no lingering on the course.
“I think it was poor planning to allow one sector of people [to open] who typically have more money to donate,” Purcell said. “I mean you let guns and golf open. Come on…There’s so many people who are out of work and just struggling to stay alive. And then to see a golf course? I don’t know. It was just really upsetting.”
Her daughter, Krystal, who owns the mobile salon, agreed. “I feel like we have less contact than anybody,” she said. “It’s definitely frustrating. I feel like maybe if we had money, we could’ve lobbied like these other people could.”