Man’s best friend is losing one of his best men.
Chasing Tails, a cage-free dog daycare center at 911 66th St. that included grooming, boarding and play areas, is closing due to financial troubles caused by COVID-19.
Owner Matt Signorile announced via social media that the center will close at the end of January.
“I always joke that my friends are dogs,” Signorile said. “I’ve spent countless hours a day with them. Sometimes I’ve spent 14 hours in play areas with them. These dogs I know better than most humans.”
But Signorile also formed a bond with the dogs’ owners and considers them friends as well.
“People feel bad that the business is closing and for me,” he said. “I feel bad for them and their dogs. People rely on me. A lot of people bought dogs thinking they can bring them here.”
Chasing Tails opened 10 years ago, but it took a few years for it to become a popular spot.
“I had confidence in my vision,” Signorile said. “The complaints I heard were overnight boarding. People don’t typically stay with the dogs overnight so they are unattended for 10-12 hours. They’re in cages. But I had no cages here.”
Signorile created play areas and15 private suites. He also had employees with the dogs 24 hours a day.
As with so many businesses, Chasing Tails was hit hard by the pandemic. In the past, the business catered to 500 new dogs a year and averaged 60-70 dogs a day. Since the quarantine, the busiest month has been December, when there were fewer than 10 dogs.
“Once we opened up for all services [in the summer], boarding never came back,” Signorile said. “The overnight boarding was our bread and butter. That was our claim to fame.”
After months of trying to stay afloat, expenses made it impossible to remain open and Signorile’s business partners made the decision to close.
“Everyone has been really great and supportive,” he said. “They made me feel really good about what I’ve done here, but it also makes me feel bad that I won’t be able to help these people or see these dogs anymore. A lot of them I see seven days a week.”