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Vargas’ Pet Grooming Bill Approved by Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee (5-3)

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SACRAMENTO, CA (April 23, 2012) – State Senator Juan Vargas’ SB 969, “Lucy’s Law”, which would create a certification program for the pet grooming industry, was approved by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development (5-3) this afternoon.  The bill, authored in an effort to prevent injuries and fatalities to pets resulting from visits to the pet groomer, now heads to the Senate Committee on Rules.

“Today, our State is one step closer to professionalizing the pet grooming industry and ensuring that groomers are properly trained and pets are protected from harm,” said Senator Vargas (D-San Diego).  “With this certification program in place, owners can feel confident that they are leaving their pet in the hands of groomers that care to be trained at the highest standard available in California.”

State Senator Juan Vargas, authored SB 969 after learning about Lucy, a small Yorkshire terrier mix, who sustained multiple injuries during a routine trip to the groomer.  Among these injuries were: a detached retina, a severed ligament in her leg, and lacerations to five of her eight nipples.

Outside of Lucy’s case, there have been thousands of life-threatening injuries to pets over the years due to negligent and under-trained pet groomers who use improper techniques when grooming animals. Injuries from these negligent acts range from severe lacerations due to improper usage of grooming tools, toe injuries, broken bones caused by the animal being dropped, eye injuries, and in the most severe of cases, death.

About SB 969:

SB 969 would create the “California Pet Grooming Council” and would allow for voluntary certification of pet groomers and pet bathers and brushers.  It would SB 969 would establish the requirements necessary to obtain a certificate as a pet groomer or pet bather and brusher, and set forth the duties and obligations of a certified pet groomer or pet bather and brusher. The bill would set forth the duties of the council with regard to the regulation of pet groomers and pet bathers and brushers and would also set standards for discipline and authorize the council to impose administrative penalties for a violation of these provisions.

As a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, the California Pet Grooming Council would certify pet groomers and pet bathers and brushers who meet specified education, examination, training and experience requirements, and would make it an unfair business practice for anyone to call themselves a “certified pet groomer” or a “certified pet bather and brusher” unless they have been certified by the Council.

The Council would be composed of members from several organizations, including but not limited to, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SCPA), the National Dog Groomers Association, the State Bar of California, the State Humane Society, the Veterinary Medical Board, and retail entities providing pet grooming services.

About Senator Juan Vargas:

Vargas represents the 40th California State Senate District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, portions of Riverside County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire US/Mexico border.  Vargas represented the 79th California State Assembly District from 2000 – 2006 and served on the San Diego City Council from 1993 – 2000.