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Local dog groomer reopening locations in multiple counties despite stay-at-home orders

FINLEYVILLE, Pa. — A local dog grooming business is back open across two counties in western Pennsylvania despite the continued stay-at-home orders in our region.

Candelore's Barking Beauties reopened its doors Wednesday in Finleyville even though Gov. Tom Wolf hasn't specified if this is an essential business.

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Owner Norm Candelore said he made the decision to reopen his doors after he got requests from over 750 people.

“I’m not saying this to justify what we’re doing, but nowhere on here does it mention anything about pet grooming salons, dog grooming salons, pet care services, nowhere. I carry it with me everywhere I go because I expect the police to come,” Candelore said.

Candelore told Channel 11 among the three locations in Finleyville, White Oak and Elizabeth, his business serves 16,000 customers.

When Wolf initially ordered mandatory shutdowns of all non-life sustaining businesses on March 19, Candelore said he complied.

However, week after week of the business reopening being pushed back – combined with customers begging for help with nail clippings and removing painful dog matting – Candelore decided he'd had enough and opened his Finleyville location only.

“I understand there are some people mad at me because I opened up. I get that, but 95% of people, as you can see, are coming in to support what we’re doing,” said Candelore. “Everything Gov. Wolf has asked us to do from the CDC recommendations, we’re doing."

Safety measures such as wearing masks, limiting the lobby to one customer and curbside pickup are a few of the adjustments made.

Washington County Commissioner Nick Sherman said he's received several requests from dog grooming businesses and understands the frustrations but worries what may happen.

“Will the state police be kicking down the door? I would think not, but (are) there repercussions later on the road when they say you didn’t adhere to safety inspections and what the health professionals said to do? Can they pull your licenses? I would think yes,” Sherman said.

Candelore told Channel 11 he plans to reopen the other two locations in Allegheny County on May 8.

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