A stalled 2014 bill requiring New Jersey pet groomers to obtain licenses to practice their trade is being reconsidered by lawmakers. New attention was brought to the issue of groomer safety after recent dog deaths at NJ PetSmart locations.
State Sen. Kip Bateman is reintroducing “Bijou’s Law“, named for a 6-year-old Shih Tzu who passed away in 2012 during a routine grooming appointment.
Bijou’s owner, Rosemary Marchetto, settled out of court with the big box pet store company involved in her dog’s death. The agreement restricts her from speaking publicly about the tragic details, but it did not stop her from fighting for other dogs.
She began working with Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to pass Bijou’s Law. The legislation would require pet groomers to be at least 18 years old, and pass a test by the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in order to work in New Jersey.
Sadly, Bijou’s Law stalled in the committee and has lain dormant ever since. Bateman hopes to revive it in honor of the three dogs that died while being groomed at PetSmart stores over the last five months.
“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” Bateman said in a press release. “People take their dog to the groomers with the reasonable expectation that their pets will be treated properly and returned to them clean and healthy, and not in a box.”