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Friday, June 15, 2012
SB 969 - Pet Grooming
Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee
State Capital, Room 3013
June 8, 2012
Re: CA SB 969 (Vargas) Pet Grooming (As amended 05-23-2012): OPPOSE
Request to be listed as official opposition
Dear Committee Members,
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to SB 969. This bill would further strain the state's budget for a program regulating the bathing and brushing of pets. A costly new council will be created to oversee another bureaucratic agency. Groomers must complete 1300 combined hours of instruction and hand-on experience before they will be allowed the privilege of paying for a biennial certification, in order to bathe and brush pets. Participating grooming schools must be approved by this new board. An examination process must also be instituted, to include written exams as well as demonstrations.
Grooming programs would be required to be approved for certification by this new council, a group composed of individuals overwhelmingly unfamiliar with established grooming practices. Only two of the members would be versed in practices standard to the grooming profession.
Instead, the proposed council would consist primarily of animal rights proponents and animal rights activist lawyers. Animal rights extremists are philosophically opposed to animal ownership and certainly should not have a seat on any council pertaining to animal husbandry.
AKC administers a voluntary nationwide Registered Professional Handlers program. Professional handlers certainly should not need to also apply for state certification in order to claim they are professionally qualified to groom dogs. Professional handlers who travel into California from other states may find themselves in a legal quandary under the terms of SB 969.
Grooming establishments already must comply with requirements for business licenses and are subject to consumer regulation by word of mouth. If groomers do a poor job, they go out of business. Our state can ill-afford a new program that provides no benefits to the citizens of the state beyond the functions of local Better Business Bureaus.Incidentally, the exact type of pet covered by this bill is not specified; it could be any sort of pet, from a hamster to a horse.
This bill is unnecessary. There is a presumption that certification for grooming of animals should be on a par with provision of cosmetology services to humans. The implementation of this certification program would be a costly burden to both taxpayers and consumers. Please reject SB 969 so that the state's resources can instead be utilized for programs of genuine importance to our taxpayers and citizens.
Geneva Coats, R.N.
California Federation of Dog Clubs
Cc: Mary Hayashi, Bill Berryhill, Michael Allen, Betsy Butler, Mike Eng, Curt Hagman, Jerry Hill, Fiona Ma, Cameron Smyth