In Defense of Animals – Protecting Pets from Being Groomed to Death

With the rising numbers of households adopting pets, spending on pet services is steadily growing from year to year. From dog grooming to dog boarding services, many pet parents are investing in these services to pamper their pooches. In 2015 alone, according to the American Pet Productions Association, $5.41 billion was spent on grooming and boarding. Unfortunately, this billion-dollar industry remains unregulated and there is no government agency or regulatory body that administers an annual safety certification of pet groomers who are entrusted with our most beloved fury companions.  

The number of deaths of our four-legged family members resulting from horrific grooming incidents nationwide has been on the rise at an alarming rate. In the last year alone, local news media outlets reported on two dog deaths that occurred at two different California PetSmart locations.[1] These recent deaths by grooming highlight the perils of an unregulated industry. In fact, there is no required certification or exam or minimum training hours to become a dog groomer in California.

In 2012, lawmakers in California previously considered, but did not pass Senate Bill (“SB”) 969. SB 969 sought to require groomers in California to obtain a license from the state’s Veterinary Medical Board and would have made it a crime for a groomer to operate in California without a license. The measure failed for various reasons, including the lack of representation of those in the grooming industry, on the governing council.   

Until the pet grooming industry is regulated, it is important for pet parents to be diligent about researching groomers and comparing quality of services commensurate with grooming experience. A groomer’s focus should be on the safety, health, sanitation and handling of the pet. 

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy (“CPM”) has a case pending in San Mateo County, against PetSmart and the groomer arrested on suspicion of killing a one-year old long-haired dachshund named “Henry” during a routine nail trim. To review a copy of the filed Complaint, please click on the following link. CPM is committed to advocating for the safety and health of animals.