Small Businesses Team to Help Families and Pets Affected by Covid-19

Pixabay photo by Karen Warfel

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Barkley Square and KSR Pet Care have teamed to support the SHARE of McClean food bank and the Northern Virginia residents it serves. Both local companies believe in the healing power of the bond between human and animal, and healing is especially important in today’s world.

The two businesses are assisting the food bank as they work with authorities to relieve some of the hardship experienced by families because of the pandemic.

The Pet Train Photo Campaign

The Pet Train photo campaign aims to create a sense of togetherness while remaining socially distant. It  can also provide a sense of happiness without compromising health. The collection of digital photos features the fun-loving and active pets of Virginia residents. 

For each photo submission the Pet Train receives, Barkley Square and KSR Pet Care will donate $1 to SHARE of McLean to sponsor their local Covid-19 emergency assistance fund. 

Kristina Robertson, President of Barkley Square, believes strongly that pets can bring joy to people, even during the most difficult times.

“Even though I am having a really tough time in business, trying to keep clients aware that we are open and practicing safety measures to keep them and my team safe,” Robertson told The Zebra, “I am still in business, and because of that, I feel I should help those that just had the rug pulled out from them.” 

In a reality where Zoom, FaceTime, and social distancing dominate, a virtual Pet Train is a way to spread animal love without spreading coronavirus.

Given their own concerns, people may forget that pets have been affected by the pandemic. Even as she struggles, Robertson remains determined to keep people aware of how the situation is difficult for animals, too.

“My mom used to tell me all the time, ‘Something is better than nothing.’ This small amount that I am sure we will raise will help so many that are right here in our backyards,” she said.

So far, the Pet Train has eighty-five riders. Take a look on the Barkley Square Flickr page.

To participate, simply submit a portrait of your cat or dog to There is a limit of three submissions per person. Be sure to submit by Monday, Nov. 23 to contribute to the fund. 

“I just knew this could be something that could bring a smile to people,” said Robertson. “We are already thinking about next year and how to add more pets to the Pet Train.” 

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