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Community helping Omaha doggy daycare keep doors open

Posted at 7:49 AM, May 24, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - As we continue to highlight women-owned businesses in our area, 3 News Now anchor/reporter Arianna Martinez takes you to a doggy daycare that's not only serving up sweet treats for dogs but drinks for their humans as well.

The pandemic has hit Barks and Brews hard but with help from the community, they are working even harder to keep the doors open.

"We dropped from like 50 dogs to like 20 dogs a day in our daycare, and our bar we had to shut down," said Danielle Nielsen, owner of Barks and Brews.

Barks and Brews is a doggy daycare during the day and a bar for both dogs and humans in the evening.

Nielsen sent out an e-mail to all of her customers saying they were closing at the end of April simply because they have not been able to recover from the pandemic.

"It's been really hard to make ends meet, and our rent is really high. We did some of those PPP things, we didn't get the second round, we didn't get any rent breaks or anything like that," said Nielsen.

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Through the help of a GoFundMe page, more customers hearing about the business through word of mouth, and other community members and businesses making donations, they have been able to keep the doors open a little longer.

"We are still fighting. We still need more dogs to come to be able to stay open, so it's been a day-by-day thing," said Nielsen.

Regardless of the current battle she faces to keep her business alive, Nielsen still encourages other women to chase their goals. She says not to be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.

"I know dogs, and I know dog businesses. I don't know plumbing and electrical and so when I'm dealing with the city I'm like, 'I don't know.' Ask questions, go to the city and say, 'This is my idea, what do I need for it.' And then rally behind other woman-owned businesses." said Nielsen.

Nielsen employs other women and through her hard work and dedication, she has been an inspiration for them.

"It's just crazy to see. She built this place from the ground up and she has done such an amazing job, and she treats us all so well," said daycare worker Delaney Richardson.

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"It's amazing to work for her and to have her do this on her own. It's very inspirational. It makes me want to be just like her," said daycare worker Miranda Kaffenberger.

At Barks and Brews, they now have matching face masks and dog bandanas as well as Woof and Whiskers cookies for purchase.

Leash, which is like an Uber for dogs, is also offering free rides to and from Barks and Brews.

To check out daycare passes and hours of operation for Barks and Brews click here.

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