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April 29, 2015

A bill is moving in the New York Assembly that would require licensing, inspections, and other regulations for pet grooming facilities.

Assembly Bill 1451 has passed the Economic Development Committee and is pending consideration in the Assembly Codes Committee before being sent to the full Assembly.  Those who wish to comment on this legislation are encouraged to contact their Assemblymember.  You can find the name and contact information for your State Assemblymember by clicking here and typing your address.    A full list of Assembly e-mail addresses may be found here.


Assembly Bill 1451 defines a “pet grooming facility” as a business, including a mobile facility, where a pet may be bathed, brushed, clipped, or styled AND pet grooming is the establishment’s predominant source of sales.  It also includes grooming services offered within a retail store. 

Establishments that meet this definition would be required to comply with the following requirements:

  • Standards of care – Pets would not be permitted to be left unattended in a grooming facility unless the pet is in a structurally sound, clean cage.  Licensees must also comply with the requirements for housing and sanitation required of pet dealers in current law.  This includes enclosures large enough to allow freedom of movement and the ability to lie down, an impervious surface to not permit absorption of liquids, proper ventilation and appropriate temperature and lighting.  Licensees must also comply with “any other sections of the Agriculture and Markets law relating to the care of pets.”


  • Record-Keeping – Records must include the name and address of the owner, services provided, and the date on which the services were provided.  Records must be kept for one year and must be made available during normal business hours to authorized agents of the Secretary of State and Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.  It appears that this requirement would only apply to those who are required to be licensed, but the AKC believes the text needs to be made clearer in order to avoid confusion.


  • Licensing – The bill states that any person “intending to own or operate a pet grooming business as defined in this article” must obtain a license from the Secretary of State.  No one under the age of 16 may obtain a license, and a licensed groomer must be on the grooming premises at all times.  The annual license fee is $40.  There is no definition of “pet grooming business” in this bill.  AKC believes that it is the intention of the sponsors of this bill to mean those who meet the definition of “pet grooming facility” as mentioned above, but this should be clarified to ensure it only applies to professional businesses and not all those who receive compensation to groom dogs. 


  • Completion of a training course – The bill directs the Secretary of State and Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop a training course to be offered in person and online to “ensure applicants have sufficient skills to safeguard the health and safety of the animal, and…have attained adequate levels of skill to competently engage in pet grooming.”  All who wish to obtain a pet grooming license must successfully complete the course. 
  • Inspections – The Secretary of State’s office will be required to coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and Markets to inspect grooming facilities “to ensure compliance.”  The bill does not state how often these inspections would occur. 

If it is believed that the licensee violated this law or “any law relating to the humane treatment of animals” then a hearing must be held prior to the suspension or revocation of the license.  

AKC will continue to monitor this legislation and provide more updates as they become available.  For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or

A bill is moving in the New York Assembly that would require licensing, inspections, and other regulations for pet grooming facilities.