WHEN HOUNDS FLY – OPEN DURING LOCKDOWN
Dear Prospective Students,
I’m sure from all the media articles about everyone getting a puppy or a rescue dog during the pandemic, and all the new dogs you’ve likely seen out for walks in neighbourhoods all across Toronto – it’s not a surprise that there is a very sharp increase in the total population of new dogs/new dog owners…
One of our commitments to our community is to deliver services with Convenience and Speed – and we’re failing to meet that commitment.
All of our brick and mortar classes are close to full, and all our instructors have full plates in terms of their weekly teaching capacity. As students graduate and leave every week, we open up spots for new students, that are quickly (within minutes of opening registration) snatched up. Many are left disappointed and frustrated.
Our team has looked at this problem and debated all sorts of different options, but there’s not much that can be done.
We can’t overnight double our teaching staff, as we refuse to lower our instructor qualifications (we have a cohort of 7 teachers in training, but they won’t be ready till January at the earliest).
We can’t overnight add more locations, and we’re on the hunt now for a fourth location. It takes time to build capacity up while not sacrificing our commitment to awesome teaching and our commitment to our instructors’ well-being.
We also refuse to increase prices significantly to offset demand, as especially in times like this, we strive to make our services affordable as we can, to serve as many in our community as possible.
To make this as fair as possible and to reduce the number of people who are disappointed, this is the process we’ll be following to help as many people as possible:
Admissions Forms Closed When New Student Orientations Are Full
If you’ve submitted an admission form in the last week or two and have been cleared and invited to attend New Student Orientation, there won’t be more people behind you piling in to fight for the limited number of spots available. Less people trying to get into a limited number of spots increases the likelihood you’ll get a spot.
New Student Orientations Added Mondays at 9AM
Students already past the admissions process – please check back every Monday at 9AM. You have first access to the new spots opening up this week.
Admissions Forms Re-Open If Excess Capacity Remains
If by Monday at 12PM, spots remain, we will temporarily re-open Admissions Forms for new prospective students, and close new admissions when all remaining New Student Orientation spots are filled.
This process will repeat every Monday, week to week, until further notice.
What If You Can’t Get a Spot?
Because of our commitment to animal welfare, we are really concerned about new puppy/rescue owners not getting good information as early as possible. Long term, the impact is a greater number of dogs relinquished to shelters, rehomed multiple times, and ultimately higher rates of behavioural euthanasia.
Therefore, we invite anyone who’s waiting for a spot, or unable to get a spot to audit our Virtual Classes and at the very least, get the content, practice with their dog, and learn best practices.
Auditing our Virtual Classes are on a Pay What You Feel basis (honour system), and until December 31, 2020, we will be donating 100% of proceeds (less the credit card processing fees) to Daily Bread Food Bank, to help fight hunger in our city during this challenging time.
We are well aware that during this difficult time, we are incredibly blessed to have a business that has high demand, despite the increased operating challenges related to physical distancing, capacity, and sanitation. We are trying our best to be as efficient as possible to serve as many new puppy and rescue dog owners as possible, and hope that we can have you join us for classes soon, and if not, as least learn from our team through auditing Virtually classes, while raising funds to help vulnerable communities with food security during this difficult time.
Andre Yeu, Founder, When Hounds Fly