BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

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          Date of Hearing:   June 26, 2012

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                     SB 969 (Vargas) - As Amended:  June 20, 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)     One member from the Society for the Prevention of 
                 Cruelty to Animals; 

               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 California Animal Control 
                 Directors Association; 

               v)     One member selected by the National Dog Groomers 
                 Association of America, Inc.;

               vi)    Two members selected by the State Bar of California 
                 who have animal law experience and who have been 
                 nominated by an animal law attorney; 


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               vii)   Two members selected by the World Pet Association; 

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

               ix)    One member selected by the Northern California 
                 Professional Groomers Association;

               x)     One member selected by the Southern California 
                 Professional Groomers Association; 

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

             b)   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 a Council-approved pet grooming curriculum and 
               has hands-on experience in pet grooming, the aggregate of 
               which shall equal at least 900 hours.  The hands-on portion 
               of that requirement shall equal at least 60% of the 900 
               hours (or 540 hours); 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; and, 


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             b)   Completed Council-approved curriculum and supervised 
               training under a certified pet bather and brusher or 
               certified pet groomer, the aggregate of which shall equal 
               at least 300 hours. 

          6)Grandfathers certificate holders applying on or after January 
            1, 2013, if they possess documentation demonstrating that the 
            applicant has performed a minimum of 900 hours of paid pet 
            grooming services to the public.  Evidence of pet grooming 
            services performed shall include either: 

             a)   An employer's affidavit containing the dates of the 
               applicant's employment; or, 

             b)   Tax returns, as specified. 

          7)Requires that the Council-issued certificates expire every two 
            years unless renewed. 

          8)Authorizes the Council to suspend or revoke a certificate for 
            the following reasons: 

             a)   It receives credible documentation that the certificate 
               holder has been convicted of animal cruelty; and, 

             b)   It has evidence of gross negligence by a certificate 
          9)Requires the Council to provide information concerning a 
            certificate holder's work address to law enforcement upon 

          10)Authorizes the Council to deny, revoke, or suspend a 
            certificate for any of the following reasons: 

             a)   Unprofessional conduct, as specified; 

             b)   Procuring a certificate by fraud, misrepresentation, or 

             c)   Conviction or misdemeanor relating to animal cruelty or 
               animal abuse; 

             d)   Committing an act of gross negligence while pets are in 


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               the certificate holder's care; or, 

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

          11)Establishes a due process procedure for a certificate 
            applicant to protest the denial, suspension, or revocation of 
            a certificate. 

          12)Requires the Council to establish a board of review to review 
            cases of gross negligence by certificate holders that come to 
            the Council's attention.  

          13)Requires the Council to create an online registry of 
            certificate holders to enable a consumer to determine whether 
            his or her pet groomer or pet bather and brusher is certified. 

          14)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.  

          15)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. 

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

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

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

          19)Requires the Council to establish a fee schedule for 
            certificates, including the following: 

             a)   Initial certification fees not to exceed $40; 

             b)   Renewal fees not to exceed $20; 


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             c)   Reinstatement fees not to exceed $40; and, 

             d)   Duplicate certificate fees not to exceed $20.

          20)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 bathes 
               and brushes a pet for compensation; 

             d)   "Pet groomer" means an individual who bathes, brushes, 
               clips, or styles a pet, trim's a pet's nails, or provides 
               anal gland expression for compensation;
             e)   "Pet grooming" means the act of bathing, brushing, 
               clipping, or styling a pet, trimming a pet's nails, or 
               providing anal gland expression; 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 


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          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 
          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.  

          The June 20, 2012 amendments to this bill delete the Council's 
          authority to take disciplinary action against a certificate 
          holder, revise the Council membership, establish a cap on 
          specified certification fees, revise a certificate holder's 
          education and training requirements to 900 total hours for pet 
          groomers and 300 hours for pet bathers and brushers, add gross 
          negligence to the list of reasons for which a certificate can be 
          denied, suspended, or revoked, limit the type of address for the 
          certificate holder the Council can provide to law enforcement 
          upon request to the certificate holder's work address, require 
          the Council to establish a board of review to review cases of 
          gross negligence by certificate holders that come to the 
          Council's attention, create an online of certificate holders, 
          and clarify that the Council can revoke or suspend a certificate 
          in addition to denying one.  

           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 


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          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. 

           Opposition  .  According to the World Pet Association and several 
          pet groomer associations, "In a well-meaning attempt to promote 
          a more uniform standard of safety, ethics, and competency within 
          the grooming industry, SB 969 creates a ›Council] which: 

                 Unprecedented, voluntary, and not accountable to any 
               other agency, to regulate and groomer training and 

                 Duplicates or nullifies the efforts of established 
               certification processes by the International Professional 
               Groomers Association, National Dog Groomers Association of 
               America, and

                 Creates great cost for businesses and professional 
               associations in order to change training and trademark 
               materials without any substantial change in these programs; 

                 Whose diverse ›Council] membership, unlike many 
               professional associations, is not mainly comprised of 
               experienced, recognized practitioners of the craft, 

                 and whose diverse concerns will possibly hamper timely 
               and focused peer review; and, 

                 Has not shown data that will ensure capture of pet 

          "While we support the continued development of a strong 
          professional association, for the above reasons, SB 969 is not 
          the answer.  It does not strengthen the grooming industry's 
          standards by oversight and peer review, but duplicates existing 
          processes, and creates a greater financial burden on the state 
          for regulation and enforcement." 

           Previous Legislation  .  AB 762 (Koretz) of 2005, would have 
          created a set of specified standards for animal grooming 


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          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 
          Barkleigh Productions, Inc. 
          California Federation of Dog Clubs 
          California Retailers Association 
          International Professional Groomers Association 
          International Society of Canine Cosmetology
          Mobile Groomers Association 
          National Animal Interest Alliance 
          National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc. 
          National Dog Groomers Association of America 
          National Federation of Independent Business
          Northern California Professional Groomers Association 
          Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
          Professional Cat Groomers Association of America 
          San Diego County Groomers Association 
          Small Business California 
          Southern California Professional Groomers Association 
          World Pet Association 

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


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