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Pet groomers, New Brunswick SPCA call for strict industry regulations to keep animals safe

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WATCH: People in the pet grooming industry are calling for stricter regulations in New Brunswick. As Callum Smith reports, some groomers say more education would benefit both the pets and their owners – Jan 14, 2021

Pet groomers are calling for industry regulation in New Brunswick.

“Anyone can literally open up a grooming salon in their basement,” says Jackie Cormier, a Moncton groomer for about 15 years.

Cormier, who owns the Paws N’ Noses grooming salon, says that is opening the door for people who don’t belong in the industry.

“They’d never have a course, they don’t know anything about behaviour on dogs, they’ve never been to grooming school… and they can open up a grooming salon tomorrow,” Cormier said.

That needs to change, she says.

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Cormier says it’s extremely concerning to see videos like one that surfaced in the Riverview area in 2019. There was a loud outcry about the treatment of a dog in the video, but that groomer at the centre of it was never charged following an investigation by the New Brunswick SPCA. The groomer shared her story with Global News earlier this week.

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“It leaves a lot of people very frustrated,” Cormier says. “Because a lot of us care a lot about the dogs and we really care about our profession, and seeing something like that makes people start questioning what people do behind closed doors.

She says better, more in-depth education would be a good first step.

That’s a sentiment shared by Angela Forrester, a certified master groomer at Posh Pet Grooming Studio.

“Currently, all the schools in New Brunswick are taught by people with no certification whatsoever,” Forrester said.

Click to play video 'Moncton groomer calls for better policing of the pet grooming industry' Moncton groomer calls for better policing of the pet grooming industry
Moncton groomer calls for better policing of the pet grooming industry – Jul 16, 2019

Forrester says people should be certified through the Canadian Professional Pet Stylists (CPPS).

She says that results in lack of training for groomers, but, with lack of regulation, there’s nothing stopping them.

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“There are currently three groomers in the Maritimes that are master groomers,” she said in an interview from Port Elgin, N.B. “There’s a handful — less than 10 — that are certified pet groomers.”

Cormier says stricter legislation could help the New Brunswick SPCA.

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“Even if (the SPCA is) alerted of certain situations, they can’t do much because it’s still the Crown prosecutors that have a say in it,” Cormier said. “So they have to drop these cases all the time.”

The NB SPCA says it is still hopeful grooming salons “will be included in the next round of legislation changes to the Pet Establishment Regulation.”

In a statement, Olivia Justason, a deputy chief animal protection officer, says “when that will happen is in the hands of the Department of Environment and Local Government.”

Anne Moores, the director of communications for the Department of Local Government and Local Governance Reform, says the province “plans to enact amendments to enhance animal protection in the near future.”

Forrester says that’s vague, but she’s hopeful policymakers work with CPPS.