WeHo City Council Will Consider Tightening the Leash on Pet Groomers


You can groom your own pooch, but putting a brush to someone else’s (and charging for it) could be tricky if the West Hollywood City Council passes an ordinance proposed by Councilmember Lauren Meister.

Meister is asking the city to require that “groomers and anyone involved in the bathing or styling of animals” be certified from an accredited animal grooming program. The city also would regulate the sort of leashes that groomers can use to keep Spot on the table. And the bathing and styling areas of grooming spots would have to have video cameras.

“Only breakaway groomer’s leashes may be used at bathing stations and styling stations,” Meister’s proposal says. “Standard groomer’s leashes (such as ‘nooses’ or ‘loops’) do not have a way for the animal to be automatically released in case the animal should jump or fall from the groomer’s table or bathing tub.”

Currently, the City of West Hollywood has three pages of regulations governing dog grooming establishments, but not groomers. Those regulations stipulate everything from how close a groomer must stand to a pet while grooming or bathing it to how frequently water dishes must be cleaned and sanitized.

The State of California doesn’t require that groomers be certified or licensed, although state Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) brought forth a bill proposing that in 2012. That bill, known as “Lucy’s Law” after a Yorkshire terrier mix injured by a groomer, would have required groomers to obtain a license that would cost $350. Those violating the proposed law would face fines of $500 to $2,000 and could be imprisoned for 30 days to up to one year.

Vargas’ bill failed, with opponents arguing that groomers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they wanted to obtain accreditation from organizations such as National Dog Groomers Association of America, National Cat Groomers Institute of America, International Professional Groomers and International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, all of which have their own testing and other certification requirements.

Grooming certification can be expensive. The International Professional Groomers Association offers certification in grooming various breeds and in handling animals safely and abiding by an ethics code for a fee of $705. The International Society of Canine Cosmetologists certifies groomers with written and practical exams at its events and major dog shows. Tests for sporting, non-sporting and terrier breeds are $50 to $125 each. However there are two final tests billed at $1,000 and $1,500 each. The National Dog Groomers Association charges fees of $125 for certification testing for each of three dog categories. To pass the written and practical certification tests, one must either have previous grooming experience or have attended a grooming school. Some online grooming schools charge from $4,000 to $6,000 for tuition and supplies.

“By initiating this item locally, the city will set a precedent for other jurisdictions and the state legislature to follow West Hollywood’s model,” says Meister’s proposal. “Ideally, a program to regulate animal grooming certification should be established on a statewide level.”

The City Council will consider the proposal at its meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. Parking is free in the five-story structure behind the Council Chambers with a ticket validated at the meeting.

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erik
erik
5 years ago

Sounds like she got a contribution from a business that does pet grooming so now she has to return the favor.

Carih
Carih
5 years ago

Blueeyedboy – regulating dog grooming does not fall under “senseless rules”. Requiring training and a license for anyone who wants to handle, bathe, and USE RAZORS on dogs is just common sense. Why do we regulate those poor hair stylists who are just trying to start a small business??? These creatures are not “just dogs”, they deserve to be safe in the hands of anyone who is responsible for them. We will not agree on this.

blueeyedboy
blueeyedboy
5 years ago

Cari Hill, poor people are not only those who come from poverty and have a skill with which they could start a service business, but are up against a wall when regulation requirements and fees stop them at the front door, but there are also well educated people who have had good careers and reach middle-age when their careers come to an abrupt and unexpected end. They have marketable skills that they could make a living off of, but senseless rules made by people who feel compelled to regulate everything make it much harder than it needs to be, and… Read more »

Cari Hill
Cari Hill
5 years ago

Blueedboy – and everyone else who thinks this is overregulation – if anyone is going to take a razor or blade to my dog, YOU BET they’d better have a license. Are ya kidding?! As for “poor people” trying to make a living, grooming dogs isn’t like cleaning a windshield at a traffic stop. I mean, come on…

Marjorie Lewis
Marjorie Lewis
5 years ago

WeHo and the pet industry are constantly working towards improving the health and safety of all pets. I might suggest first discussing unlicensed caretakers and internet service providers that endanger the lives of dogs whose owners allow strangers in their homes to walk their dogs and keep them overnight. There is no oversight and the intent of internet companies is to make as much money with as little accountability as possible. Lets ban those services by providers who are not licensed, inspected, bonded, or have a vetting process. Owners who use groomers can walk in, talk and view State and… Read more »

Viv-o-lie
Viv-o-lie
5 years ago

Lauren please don’t regulate me getting my haircut and we won’t regulate your haircut. I’m sorry for your bad hair days but don’t overcompensate with my dogs.

Beanie Iowa
Beanie Iowa
5 years ago

My daddy has to keep me on a leash and so many other daddies let their dogs run free on the street it’s not fair- I wanna run free too. My sister Peanut said that the city doesn’t enforce ever. You say you love me but there’s almost no place to run in the whole city. A few times i waited in the car at the market and other doggies were shopping and we couldn’t go in and smell all the fruits and vegetables. Now my friend Coco’s dad would be illlegal for him to groom me. How bout enforcing… Read more »

Dog Priorities
Dog Priorities
5 years ago

@Manny and BlueEyed Boy: The battle is never lost. What about having the security guards already in place with stores like Trader Joes be the first line of defense for offending dog owners. Perhaps the Neighborhood Ambassadors could also take on the dog detail in the streets in addition to presumably observant Sheriff deputies. We are inconsistent as a city with regulations but in the end it seems ANYTHING GOES. Walking dogs on long leashes so pedestrians need to resort to the street to avoid incidents is not cool. The worst offenders have the gnarly dogs and its not worth… Read more »

J Simmons
J Simmons
5 years ago
Reply to  Dog Priorities

SORRY AGAIN, TOO LATE. I leave my dog outside Trader Joes It was STRICT POLICY of no dogs. A few yrs ago, it seemed all dogs ok inside. I asked a well known to me employer who threw his hands up and said it’s impossible to keep dogs out since the service dog boom. My dog is a service dog, but HUGE and stays outside regardless no restrictions

Dog Priorities
Dog Priorities
5 years ago

@JJ: YES! Now that could produce some constructive revenue for WH rather than a burdensome license for pet groomers. People lived for years without carting their dogs and therapy companions to every nook and cranny. How did they do it? Simple, most adults were adults and not juvenile needy, entitled wimpy whiners.

blueeyedboy
blueeyedboy
5 years ago

JJ, you are absolutely right. I could add a couple of other suggestions: find a way to foolproof service dog registrations so that it can’t be faked, and require that dogs be walked on short leashes. No other dog than a true service dog can then be allowed in stores and businesses (and, no, California does not register pit bull dogs as service dogs, so the guy is lying), and dogs on long leashes often take up the entire sidewalk so that pedestrians can’t get passed them without stepping over the leash or the dog, or getting around by stepping… Read more »

J Simmons
J Simmons
5 years ago
Reply to  blueeyedboy

DOGS are animals, and go to one side, depending on scent. Walking people refuse to walk around dogs, who can’t comprehend the normal US pattern of usually walking on the right. It is a small effort for an intelligent human to understand, a movement left or right to avoid the dog is easy. Instead, they are more territorial than dogs.

J Simmons
J Simmons
5 years ago
Reply to  blueeyedboy

J.J. Ditto on the too late. I have an enormous American Pit bull terrier (NOT a ‘pit bulls’) & I have left him tied outside Pavilions for years without issue. I always tell the cart guy or security. THE LAST TIME, THE SECURITY SAID I COULD BRING HIM IN. I told him not necessary, he is a regular tied up. HE THEN INSISTED I BRING HIM INTO PAVILIONS. It was so strange to bring a massive dog inside our Pavillions, I no longer shop there.

Manny
Manny
5 years ago

Sorry JJ, I’m afraid that battle has been lost.

JJ
JJ
5 years ago

Now if they would just enforce no animals in supermarkets, restaurants and retail stores that would be fantastic.

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