Assemblyman Moriarty’s Bill The “Pet Grooming Licensing Act” Passes The Assembly

Following a renewed spotlight on the unregulated pet grooming industry, New Jersey Legislators pushed to pass the “Pet Grooming Licensing Act” also known as “Bijou’s Law.” The bill’s namesake, Bijou, was a healthy Shih Tzu that passed away during a routine pet grooming. Bijou’s Law is intended to prevent
future tragic deaths through new licensing and
training standards for pet groomers. The bill, A-3044, was passed with overwhelming support by the General Assembly during it’s October Voting Session.

The bill’s recent push was spurred by a detailed
investigation by NJ Advanced Media which found that the lack of oversight in the pet grooming industry leads to little accountability when a dog is injured or dies.
Additionally, they discovered that since 2008 at least 47 families across 14 states have claimed that their dog died during or shortly after a regular grooming trip to Petsmart. However, since the majority of groomers are not required to report such incidents, the number could be higher.

As a dog owner, Assemblyman Moriarty understands that the thousands of New Jersey pet owners want accountability for our pets. He believes that it is time for the state to step up and protect our furry family members.

In this spirit, the bill would establish the New Jersey State Board of Pet Groomers to oversee the standards for pet groomers and grooming businesses. Individual groomers would be required to be at least 18 years old and have passed an examination. Additionally, pet grooming businesses would be required to meet
certain safety and environmental standards. Further, businesses would be expected to maintain a pet
incident file and submit it annually to the board.

In addition, the board would champion a public awareness campaign to educate New Jersyans about Bijou’s Law. The Board will also offer a toll-free hotline for consumers with questions, concerns, or complaints regarding pet groomers.

Now that the bill has passed the General Assembly it will be reviewed by the Senate Commerce Committee before heading to the Senate at large. Upon the Governor’s approval, the advisory board would immediately begin to form while the regulations could take up to 360 days to take effect. If signed into law, New Jersey would become the first state in the nation to require all individual groomers to be licensed.

Throughout Assemblyman Moriarity’s tenure in the General Assembly, he has pursued consumer protections for every member of New Jersey families through better business standards. The Assemblyman is confident that if this bill becomes law, it will bring the whole pet grooming industry to the highest standard and better serve our pets at the same time.