HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A nine-year-old daycare and spa specializing in canines unexpectedly closed on Monday night, according to a post on their Facebook page.
“This journey over the past 9 years couldn't have been possible without our wonderful customers and employees! It is with great sadness that we announce that we are no longer able to run the business and must close. We are working our hardest to support our customers and employees - please reach out to us via email if you have any questions or concerns,” a post read on the Dogtopia West End Facebook page.
Dogtopia touts itself as the largest provider of dog daycare in North America with more than 160 locations.
Their website shows 15 locations opening soon, including a daycare in Arlington.
Tuesday afternoon, a representative for the West End daycare located at 7217 West Broad Street responded to CBS 6 by email.
“We are devastated to have to close, however, the financial situation of our business was severely impacted by COVID and we were unable to recover,” the email read.
Dogtopia employees said they are working with their sister locations in North Chesterfield and Midlothian to move boarded dogs.
“Both of those stores are great and folks will be extremely satisfied with their service if they choose to move over,” the email continued. “The health and safety of our dogs is paramount and we have ensured that it will not be impacted by our closure.”
Zach Marson, who dropped off his dog Ripley at the West End location on Friday, received a call from an employee notifying him of the closure on Tuesday.
“I never once thought they were struggling with business. I always saw people dropping dogs off before and after me,” Marson told CBS 6 while visiting family in the Outer Banks. “I knew plenty of families that sent their dogs there, so yea it was very confusing and very scary.”
CBS 6 stopped by the West End location on Tuesday to find a "PERMANENTLY CLOSED" sign on the front door. We're told that the sudden closure blindsided not only their clients but also the employees and the property owner.
“I asked the employees if they knew anything that was happening and they said they found out just like the rest of us late last night,” Marson recalled.
While Ripley is spunky and sweet, she does live with separation anxiety. Marson isn’t sure where he will board Ripley during his next vacation or work trip.
“She doesn’t like to be alone,” he explained. “She has a lot of separation anxiety which is why we put her in a daycare that we trust and know. We just don’t put her anywhere. Dogtopia earned our trust and she liked it there.”
Marson said an employee told him he would receive a refund for the unused days he paid for Ripley to stay at the daycare. A Dogtopia employee has volunteered to house Ripley until Marson returns from his vacation.
On the farm with Libby Lewis