TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said Bateman. “It’s clear that something needs to be done to improve training and oversight. That’s why I’m introducing ‘Bijou’s Law’ as a smart and sensible approach to protect our pets and save lives. 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.”

Bijou’s Law would ensure that pet groomers are licensed throughout the state of New Jersey. The bill was originally introduced in the General Assembly in response to the untimely death of Bijou, a happy and healthy Shih Tzu who unexpectedly died while being groomed at a pet salon.

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“Bijou died at the hands of a groomer during a routine grooming when he was only six years old, which prompted my push for legislative protections to ensure that all dog groomers in New Jersey are trained and licensed and know how to properly care for our pets,” said Rosemary Marchetto, Bijou’s owner. “Bijou’s Law’ will elevate the dog grooming industry to a regulated licensed profession. After ‘Bijou’s Law’ passes in New Jersey, it is my intention to pass ‘Bijou’s Law’ on the federal level.”

Bateman investigated potential legislative remedies after learning of the recent death of a dog named Scruffles in Flemington, also while left in the care of a groomer. He will introduce a Senate version of the existing Bijou’s Law legislation.

“Countless pets have died at the hands of negligent groomers and bathers. My precious beloved bulldog could have been alive today if she was in the hands of a properly-trained groomer/bather,” said Danielle DiNapoli, the owner of Scruffles. “I 100 percent support ‘Bijou’s Bill.’ It is critical that pet groomers are properly trained and licensed to take care of our companion pets.”

“If we’re going to regulate hair and nail salon for humans, we should do the same for our furry friends,” added Bateman. “I am proud to stand in their fight for sensible oversight to ensure there aren’t any more tragedies like those of Bijou and Scruffles. ‘Bijou’s Law’ will prevent tragedies and save lives.”

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