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Should Pet Groomers Be Required To Be Licensed?

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dog grooming

There is a bill in the California State Legislature, SB 969, that would establish a council to administer a voluntary certification program for pet groomers, bathers and brushers.  If passed, this would be the first legislation to specifically govern pet groomers, bathers and brushers.

Requirements vary by state regarding the certificates and licenses needed to open a pet grooming business.  Most states require a business license and tax permits, along with regularly scheduled inspections of the grooming facility to check for cleanliness and handling of grooming products that may affect the environment. There isn’t any certification or licensing that specifically addresses the qualifications of the groomer, bather, brusher, however .

Per SB 969, the council to administer the certification program would be comprised of representatives from various groups such as state groomers associations, ASPCA, veterinary and animal law attorneys.  Duties assigned to the council include: establishing curriculum for certification, issuing certificates to qualified applicants, establishing certification fee structure,  and creating an online registry of certified groomers for consumers.

Those in favor of the bill cite examples of injury to pets while in care of inexperienced and untrained groomers/bathers and brushers.

Opponents of the bill have expressed concern over experience of council members governing the certification process, added cost to established grooming facilities and duplication of established certification processes from national and international grooming associations.

As an out-of-state observer, I see a potential for increased cost for grooming and less groomers in the market to pick from.  If grooming costs go up, would there be more owners trying to groom their pets themselves?  If so, would there be more pet injuries as a result?

Many state governments are having budget woes, the establishment and ongoing council maintenance would be an additional cost.  Will the state budgets be able to cover it?

I understand the reasons for proposing the bill, but have mixed feelings on whether this is the right answer.  What do you think?  Are you in favor of legislation like SB969?



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