WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) — A local dog groomer who reopened in defiance of Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus shutdown order says he could be fined $300 for every day he was open in the “red” phase.

“The only mistake I made was not opening up sooner,” said Norm Candelore, owner of Candelore’s Barking Beauties.

Candelore’s Barking Beauties dog salons serve customers in Finleyville, White Oak and Elizabeth. The business was a dream come true for Candelore and his daughter, Kelsey.

But when forced to shutter all three salons in March, deemed non-essential under the “red” phase, the dream washed up.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“We probably took about a $160,000 hit,” said Candelore.

In late April after helping a woman whose dog was injured from a bad at-home nail clipping, “I said honey, we’re in the business of taking care of pets and people. We’re opening up,” said Candelore.

The Finleyville location opened on April 27 with curbside pickup and only one customer allowed inside at a time, according to Candelore.

“I even called the police and told everybody we’re opening up,” he said.

Then a letter came from state Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

“We did get a letter of intent to fine. That’s $300 a day from the time we were open,” Candelore said.

The letter wasn’t an official citation, but he could be out $4,200 in fines.

Candelore said he won’t fight them. He’s just happy his staff is back to work.

“They bust their butts, they get it done and they care and they stay here until it’s done right and they hurt along with everyone else,” said Candelore.

Now that most of the region is in the “yellow” phase, the businesses are operating freely.

After opening in the red, Candelore said business shot up 25 percent.

Candelore’s said business is doing so well that he is opening a new location in Monongahela.