Suffolk County Could Become First To Regulate Pet Groomers
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Are your pets safe when you drop them off to be shampooed or sheared?
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, a Long Island family says they nearly lost their dogs to untrained pet groomers and are demanding local laws to regulate the industry.
After Laura Hughes’ brought her two Pomeranians after receiving shampoos and haircuts, they started throwing up and turning red, she said.
“My dogs got so sick from a dog groomer that my dogs could have died,” said Huges, of Medford.
The products used on them were “toxic,” Hughes said. She immediately contacted local lawmakers to complain.
She then learned there is no oversight of the industry.
“There’s nothing under the federal level, nothing under the state level, nothing in the county, nothing in the town,” Hughes said.
Hughes said she believes pet groomers should have to apply for a vocational license, rather than just a business license.
Past attempts to regulate the grooming business nationally were generally met with resistance over worries about government intrusion and added costs.
Now there is a movement afoot, supported by pet lovers and local groomers, to make Suffolk County the first to put an evaluation system in place.
“If you’re a reputable grooming salon, there is nothing to hide,” said Melissa Van Horn, owner of The Groomery in Stony Brook. “We would welcome a rating system because I think it would really wean out the good, hard-working, educated groomers that are safe for animals from the fly by night.”
Suffolk County Legislator Robert Calarco, D-Patchogue, has proposed a bill that would begin with voluntary inspections of training and cleanliness. The county Legislature is expected to vote Tuesday on the measure, which would expand its “puppy and dog protection rating program.”
“We’re not looking to put people out of business,” Calarco said. “We’re just trying to make sure our consumers get good information and that people are following basic proper protocol so that the animals are safe.”
A more stringent bill is also in the works in Suffolk to have the county Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs peform annual mandatory inspections of stores and mobile groomers.
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