Pet Groomers Licensing Act (Bijou’s Bill) in New Jersey

On November 28th, 2018 we had the pleasure of having Rosemary Marchetto on as a special guest on our YouTube show, Ask Jun the Groomer. Rosemary is the creator of the Pet Groomer’s Licensing Act in New Jersey that is better known as Bijou’s Bill. Bijou was her Shih Tzu that she lost after dropping him off for routine grooming at a well-known grooming establishment in New Jersey. Unfortunately, many owners know the pain of receiving a call from the groomer informing them that their pet has died while being groomed. This is what led to the discovery that not only was the groomer that Rosemary trusted not licensed, but she never even had an option to drop Bijou off to a licensed groomer because there are none.

She knew that something had to be done about the current state of the grooming industry, and for the past 6 years she has been working tirelessly to get the State of New Jersey to require all professional pet groomers to be licensed by the State. New Jersey would be the first State to license pet groomers if this bill passes, and it would give the other States a template to use and tailor according to each State’s individual needs.

The entire livestream lasted for two and a half hours so I’ll give you the main points that we covered about the bill so you won’t have to watch the entire episode!

The New Jersey Pet Groomer’s Licensing Act:

  • The State Board will consist of 9 members. All decisions must pass a 5-4 majority vote.
    • 1 Executive Branch Member
    • 2 General Public Members
    • 2 Licensed Veterinarians
    • 4 Professional Pet Groomers
      • All members serve 3 Year Terms with no more than 2 terms maximum.
        • No member shall be paid or compensated for their positions. Only reimbursed for actual, necessary expenses. This is a public service.
  • Pet Grooming License Eligibility:
    • 18 years or older.
    • Good Moral Character: There must be no history of violent crimes or cruelty toward animals.
      • Background checks will be required.
    • Must pass an Exam prepared and approved by the Board to determine the applicant’s competence to practice pet grooming.
      • Written & Practical exams.
        • Practical exams will be conducted by Licensed Professional Pet Groomers.
        • If the applicant does not have a dog to test with, the board will provide a shelter dog when available.
        • Tests will be held 4 times a year all throughout the state.
        • Written exams may be done online.
  • Schools:
    • All Pet Grooming Schools must secure a license from the State Board.
    • All teachers must be Licensed Pet Groomers.
    • The Board shall develop the pet grooming curriculum to be used in the schools and shall collaborate with the schools to utilize and incorporate industry best practices and standards.
  • Fees:
    • $75 license fee for 2 years.
      • $50 to renew every 2 years.
  • Business Requirements:
    • Pets not being groomed are to be kept in separate cages/kennels that are clean and structurally sound.
      • There must be enough room for the pet to comfortably move around, as well as get up and lay down comfortably.
        • 2 pets from the same home can be kept together as long as they both have enough space to move around and lay comfortably.
      • This does not apply to businesses that do not use cages or kennels.
    • The business must provide sufficient lighting where the pets are being kept and groomed.
    • Must keep a the business in proper sanitary condition.
    • All pets must have access to an adequate water supply.
    • No heated drying cages are allowed.
      • If the owner gives written consent after fully understanding all of the risks, the business may use drying cages under strict supervision.
  • Pet Incident File:
    • Pet Incident File Report must be submitted Annually.
      • Each Incident Report must be filed no later than 10 days after the date of the incident.
      • Incident definition: Any event in which the skin of any pet or person is broken, a pet sustains an injury of any kind during the course of a grooming session, or a pet has an allergic reaction during the course of a grooming session.
        • Examples of Incidents:
          • Pet Injuries sustained while grooming that required veterinarian contact.
          • Severe Pet Illnesses.
          • Veterinary Treatment Plans.
          • Pet Deaths.
          • Pet Escapes.
    • By filing Incident Reports, all the information is transparent. This will help keep both Pet Groomers and Pet Owners accountable.
  • Public Education Campaign:
    • “The Board shall undertake a Public Information Campaign to educate and inform the consumers of this State of the provisions of this Act.”
    • Production and Public distribution of booklets, pamphlets, and other written pertinent information.
    • Create educated pet owners and more conscientious consumers.
    • Toll Free number for Consumers to report abuse and/or misconduct.
      • This also gives pet groomers who work for an abusive business owner or witnesses misconduct in the business a way to report the abuse safely and anonymously.

For more information about Bijou’s Bill (Pet Groomer’s Licensing Act), please click the following link to their website:

If you’d like to read the Full Bill, click this link here:

Here is the Ask Jun the Groomer Live Q&A episode with Rosemary Marchetto:

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