Community rallies behind local doggy daycare to keep them from closing

(Omaha, NE) -- The community is rallying behind an Omaha doggy daycare and dog bar to keep them from closing after struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.

A GoFundMe page was created last week to support Barks N Brews after the company announced that they would be closing their doors. Barks N Brews opened in 2018, and gave dog owners a place to take their pups, grab a drink and socialize with other pet owners, but that was all set to end on April 30th.

“Unfortunately, COVID has hit us harder than we could have imagined and we’re going to have to shut our doors come April 30th,” , Barks N Brews owner Danielle Nielsen said. “We are extremely heartbroken and have held out as long as possible.”

The farewell email to customers took Nielsen two days to write. “It was hard, I think I bawled the entire day after I did it,” Nielsen told WOWT 6 News.

With COVID keeping many people working from home, her doggy daycare services weren’t needed. “And then the bar was closed for the pandemic and so you know, our bartender lost her job for a few months. People rallied behind that, but it wasn’t enough to continue to stay open.”

With just days to spare before her April 30th closing, one of her customers started that GoFundMe to keep the doors open. Nearly $7,300 was raised in five days.

The longer future is still fairly uncertain, the email she sent saying goodbye is still painful to revisit. “To think if I have to send it out again, you know that’s...that’ll just be awful so I pray that it does not happen,” Nielsen said.

For now, Nielsen says she’ll keep working while she tries to come up with permanent solutions. She thanks the community for their unwavering support. “I’m stumbling over my words because I can’t find the right words to just describe how grateful we are to stay open."

Nielsen says the best way to help out is to bring your dog to daycare, even if you’re working from home and just want them to have some play time.

(Photo by GoFundMe)

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