CT Checkup: Coronavirus shutdown pet adoptions keep Watertown grooming business busy, able to give back amid crisis


WATERTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Pet adoptions have gone up since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. That trend has helped keep one Watertown pet grooming service afloat and now able to help other businesses struggling.

Natural Pet Oasis, a pet grooming service in Watertown, has been booked and busy throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

“A lot of people have adopted new pets,” said Owner Renada Rickevicius. “So I got a lot of new customers with pets needing to come in to be groomed.” 

Wanting to support businesses less fortunate, she decided to hold free giveaways featuring some of their services. 

“I would buy gift certificates from businesses around town to support them during this time,” she said. “Some of them may have been closed or haven’t been getting the normal amount of business flow.” 

Now Rickevicius has found a new way to give back; this time to local rescue dogs looking to find their ‘forever home.’ And people can help by simply purchasing a mask through the ‘Tubby Time Fund.’ 

The fund was started by a customer of Natural Pet Oasis, Diane Kucharski. The Terryville resident sells homemade face masks for $15 each and if someone mentions Natural Pet Oasis, $5 from their purchase will go towards grooming for a local rescue dog.

As to why she started it, Kucharski says that in a crisis like COVID-19, dogs are our very own first-responders.

“Especially being home and being isolated, not being able to visit your family,” she explained. “If your pet is all that you have with you, that is your family.” 

And with dog adoptions on the rise during the pandemic, she says that rescue dogs deserve a little pampering before they head to their forever homes. 

“I think being cleaned, being pampered, somebody showing that they care,” she added.“I think it changes the demeanor of the dog.” 

Donovan from the Watertown shelter ‘Perfect Imperfections’ was the first recipient of the fund and the salon is currently taking more submissions from local shelters. 

Rickevicius says nothing beats seeing the effect this has on our four-legged friends. 

“They’ve had it rough, they’ve never had a good grooming or a good bath,” she said. “So it means a lot.” 

Those looking to purchase a mask can send an email to: cthomesewn@gmail.com

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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