BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

                                                                  SB 969
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          Date of Hearing:   June 19, 2012

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                     SB 969 (Vargas) - As Amended:  May 23, 2012

           SENATE VOTE  :   22-14
          SUBJECT  :   Pet groomers. 

           SUMMARY  :   Establishes the California Pet Grooming Council 
          (Council) to administer a voluntary pet groomer and pet bather 
          and brusher certificate program, until January 1, 2017.  
          Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Establishes the Council to administer a voluntary pet groomer 
            and pet bather and brusher certificate program, until January 
            1, 2017.  

          2)Requires the Council to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization 
            comprised of the following members: 

             a)   The following members, unless that person chooses not to 
               exercise his or her right of selection: 

               i)     Two members from the Society for the Prevention of 
                 Cruelty to Animals associations, one from northern 
                 California, and one from southern California; 

               ii)    One member selected by each state or nationwide pet 
                 specialty retailer that provides pet grooming services 
                 with gross annual sales exceeding $150 million; 

               iii)   One member selected by the State Humane Association 
                 of California; 

               iv)    One member selected by the Director of Consumer 

               v)     One member selected by the Veterinary Medical Board; 

               vi)    One member selected by the California Animal Control 
                 Directors Association; 


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               vii)   Two members selected by the National Dog Groomers 
                 Association of America, Inc.;

               viii)  One member selected by the State Bar of California 
                 who has animal law experience and who has been nominated 
                 by a fellow animal law attorney; 

               ix)    Two members selected by the World Pet Association; 

               x)     One member selected by the International 
                 Professional Groomers, Inc.; 

               xi)    One member selected by the International Society of 
                 Canine Cosmetologists; 

               xii)   One member selected by the Northern California 
                 Professional Groomers Association; and, 

               xiii)  One member selected by the Southern California 
                 Professional Groomers Association. 

             b)   One member who is a licensed veterinarian selected by 
               the California Veterinary Medical Association; and, 

             c)   Additional members appointed by the Council through a 
               process it shall establish in its bylaws, including the 
               appointment of two members who represent pet groomers who 
               own or operate independent facilities and are not 
               affiliated with a pet specialty retailer with gross annual 
               sales exceeding $150 million or another retailer of 
               comparable size.

          3)Requires the Council to issue a pet groomer certificate to 
            applicants who satisfy the following requirements: 

             a)   Are at least 18 years old; 

             b)   Completed at least 1,000 hours of experience and either 
               of the following: 

               i)     Completed at least 300 hours of Council-approved pet 
                 grooming curriculum; or, 

               ii)    Passed a pet grooming certification test established 


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                 by the Council;  and,

             c)   Paid all Council fees. 

          4)Requires the Council to issue a pet grooming certificate to 
            out-of-state applicants who meet or exceed this bill's 

          5)Requires the Council to issue a pet bather and brusher 
            certification certificate to applicants who satisfy the 
            following requirements: 

             a)   Are at least 18 years old; 

             b)   Completed either of the following: 

               i)     300 hours of Council-approved curriculum; 

               ii)    300 hours of supervised training under a certified 
                 pet groomer; or, 

               iii)   The Council's pet grooming certification test. 

          6)Grandfathers certificate holders applying on or after January 
            1, 2013, if they meet any of the following: 

             a)   Possess valid pet grooming permits or licenses issued by 
               a California municipality and completed 500 hours of paid 
               experience; or,

             b)   Completed 100 hours of pet grooming curriculum and 500 
               hours of paid experience.  An applicant who has not yet 
               completed the paid experience may apply for a conditional 
               certificate and must complete an additional 300 hours of 
               education within five years before the conditional license 
               expires prior to the Council's issuance of a 
               non-conditional certificate. 

          7)Requires every applicant applying for certification as a pet 
            groomer or a pet bather and brusher to provide proof of 
            insurance against negligent acts associated with pet grooming 

          8)Requires the Council to issue certificates that shall be 
            renewed biannually. 


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          9)Authorizes the Council to discipline a certificate holder in 
            the following ways: 

             a)   Probation; 

             b)   Suspension up to one year;
             c)   Revocation of certificate; and,

             d)   Any action authorized by this bill or by Council bylaw, 
               as the Council deems proper. 

          10)Authorizes the Council to issue an initial certificate for a 
            certificate holder on probation. 

          11)Requires the Council, if notified that a certificate holder 
            has been arrested and charges have been filed alleging animal 
            cruelty, to take the following actions and notify the 
            certificate holder: 

             a)   Immediately suspend, on an interim basis, the 
               certificate holder's certificate;  

             b)   Upon notification a certificate holder has been 
               convicted of animal cruelty, to permanently suspend a 
               certificate holder's certificate; or, 

             c)   Upon a dismissal or acquittal of animal cruelty charges, 
               to reinstate the certificate holder's certificate. 

          12)Requires the Council to exchange information regarding a 
            certificate holder with law enforcement, relating to 
            disciplinary action. 

          13)Authorizes the Council to deny a certificate for any of the 
            following reasons: 

             a)   Unprofessional conduct, as specified; 

             b)   Procuring a certificate by fraud, misrepresentation, or 

             c)   Violating a provision of this bill or a Council bylaw; 


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             d)   Conviction or misdemeanor relating to animal cruelty; 

             e)   Impersonating or acting as a proxy for an applicant; or, 

             f)   Committing any fraudulent, dishonest, or corrupt act in 
               the course of duties. 

          14)Establishes a due process procedure for a certificate 
            applicant to protest the denial of a certificate or 
            disciplinary action. 

          15)Requires a certificate holder to notify the Council of home 
            and businesses addresses, as specified. 

          16)Requires a certificate holder to use the name under which he 
            or she was certified, and to display his or her certificate at 
            his or her business location.  

          17)Provides that it is an unfair business practice for any 
            person to hold himself or herself out as a "certified pet 
            groomer" or "certified pet brusher and bather" unless he or 
            she is certified by the Council, and authorizes anyone to 
            petition for injunctive relief against a pet groomer violating 
            the provisions of this bill through the Superior Court. 

          18)Requires certification exams to include both a practical 
            demonstration and a written test prepared by the Council.  

          19)Requires the Council to establish an exam grading procedure, 
            determine the form and content of certificates the Council 
            issues, and to create a record of those certificate holders. 

          20)Establishes renewal or cancellation procedures for expired, 
            delinquent, suspended, or revoked certificates. 

          21)Subjects Council meeting to the rules of the Bagley-Keene 
            Open Meeting Act. 

          22) Authorizes the Council to take reasonable actions to carry 
            out its responsibilities.

          23)Requires the Council to establish a fee schedule for exams 
            and certificates.  


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          24)Creates the following definitions: 

             a)   "Council" means the California Pet Grooming Council; 

             b)   "Pet" means any dog or cat placed in the care of a pet 
               groomer for grooming or styling; 

             c)   "Pet bather or brusher" means an individual who solely 
               bathes and brushes a pet for compensation; 

             d)   "Pet groomer" means an individual who bathes, brushes, 
               clips, or styles a pet for compensation;
             e)   "Pet grooming" means the act of bathing, brushing, 
               clipping, or styling a pet; and, 

             f)   "Pet grooming facility" means a commercial establishment 
               where a pet may be bathed, brushed, clipped, or styled.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown 

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author's office, 
          "Existing law does not provide for adequate safety of pets in 
          California.  Currently, there are no laws or guidelines related 
          to the profession of pet grooming, and pet groomers are 
          currently not required to possess anything more than a business 
          license.  Thus, no formal training is required to open or run a 
          pet grooming facility.  This bill would create the Council, a 
          501(c)(3) non-profit, for the purpose of certifying pet groomers 
          and pet bathers and brushers who meet specified education, 
          examination, training, and experience requirements."

           Background  .  This bill creates a voluntary certification program 
          for pet groomers and is optional.  This differs from licensure, 
          which is mandatory to professionally practice in a field for 
          paid compensation, and requires individuals to pass an 
          examination, complete specified education requirements, and 
          possibly complete experience/training requirements.  A licensing 
          and regulatory board may take investigate consumer complaints 
          and take disciplinary action against a licensee for misconduct.  
          In addition, the licensing and regulatory board may take action 
          against unlicensed practitioners to protect consumers.  On the 
          other hand, certification requires individuals to possibly pass 


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          an examination and to complete education courses and specified 
          training; however, certification is optional and is a means for 
          an industry to set its own standards and self-regulate.  In some 
          instances, a government agency may provide for certification 
          requirement or in other instances a non-profit organization or 
          some other professional group or association may provide for a 
          certification program.  A person voluntarily seeks certification 
          from any of these entities and then may use the term "certified" 
          or having received "certification" within that profession.  

           Support  .  According to the Executive Director (ED) of the Animal 
          Samaritans SPCA, Inc., "As the ED of an Animal Welfare and 
          Veterinary Medical Center, I have seen dogs with various  
          injuries suffer at the hands of untrained groomers.  In one 
          case, a dog came in with nipples cut off in a grooming incident, 
          leaving it with serious injuries.  In other cases, dogs and cats 
          had grooming injuries that included burns resulting from dryers 
          and lacerations from lipping and shaving.  Others had broken 
          legs suffered by jumping from tables because groomers did not 
          know how to handle animals.  The list goes on and on. 

          "Many pet groomers have years of experience and are diligent in 
          their work and care for animals in their charge.  They do 
          wonderful work.  However, there are groomers that are untrained 
          and do not understand the basics of pet handling.  Animal 
          grooming is an occupation whereby most anyone can pick up a pair 
          of shears and got to work, often with disastrous results.  This 
          bill would require training for groomers and licensing that 
          would confirm the groomer's professional qualifications. 

           Oppose  .  According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council 
          (PIJAC), which has taken an opposed unless amended position, 
          "The amendments ›PIJAC] requested are to streamline the process 
          and clarify that the role of the Council is to approve 
          curriculum and issue certification.  As currently construed, 
          this bill provides the Council broad authority over 
          employer/employee matters and other responsibilities that go 
          beyond a voluntary certification program.  In summary, the 
          amendments provided to the author suggest the following: 

                 Reduce the membership of the Council to those persons 
               with expertise in the grooming of dogs and cats; 

                 Codify the fees for groomer/bather certification as 
               opposed to the Council setting fees for not only 


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               certification, but other fees, such as duplication fees, 
               exam fees, etc.; 

                 Eliminate the hours of experience requirements and 
               leaves to the authority of the Council whether the 
               curriculum presented provides sufficient training for a 
               person to be certified as a pet groomer or bather; and, 

                 Provide the Council the authority to revoke a 
               certificate from a pet groomer or bather only after being 
               convicted of animal abuse."

           Previous Legislation  .  AB 762 (Koretz) of 2005, would have 
          created a set of specified standards for animal grooming 
          facilities and imposed civil penalties against individuals who 
          violate those standards.  This bill was held in the Assembly 
          Business and Professions Committee.


          Animal Samaritans SPCA, Inc. 
          City of Coachella 
          City of Desert Hot Springs
          City of Palm Desert 
          City of Rancho Mirage 
          Indian Wells 
          La Prensa Hispana 
          Paw PAC
          Numerous Individuals 
          California Federation of Dog Clubs 
          California Retailers Association 
          Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
          San Diego County Groomers Association 
          Small Business California 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Joanna Gin / B.,P. & C.P. / (916) 


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