• April 13, 2023

Protecting Animals in Grooming Facilities

Protecting Animals in Grooming Facilities

Protecting Animals in Grooming Facilities 586 459 Animal Care and Control

Third in a Series of Blogs about Los Angeles County Code Title 10 – Animals

More than twenty years ago we had five large dogs (a Newfoundland, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and a Samoyed/Australian Shepherd cross). They were all house pets, of course, and we spent a lot of time making sure they were well-groomed. We even had a raised bathtub in our garage with hot water to give them their baths, and the neighborhood kids loved helping me bathe and groom them.


These days we have even bigger and hairier dogs (three Great Pyrenees and a Golden Retriever) but finding the time and physical stamina to groom them is more difficult now. Fortunately, there is a wonderful pet grooming business near my home where I can take them. The groomers do a terrific job, and my back doesn’t ache and the end of the day!


Many people rely on professional groomers to keep their beloved pets clean and trimmed. We put our faith in groomers to treat our pets humanely and provide a safe and healthy environment for them. We aren’t there to monitor our animals and rely on the groomers’ professionalism and love for animals to ensure our pets have a good experience.


Most groomers are ethical, compassionate, and skilled. However, there have been instances of animal abuse, neglect, and even death in grooming facilities. These have included strangulations on the grooming noose, death from overheating in an enclosed cage dryer, or injuries by untrained personnel. For these reasons, Los Angeles County Code Title 10 sets forth the following conditions for grooming operations, including mobile groomers:


10.40.020 – Animal Facilities for Grooming.

Animal facilities where animals are bathed or groomed for compensation must comply with the following provisions in addition to all other applicable requirements in this chapter 10.40 relating to animal facilities and the care of animals.


A. Consultation. A consultation with the customer must take place prior to the grooming to discuss the animal’s health and temperament concerns and to establish the animal’s previous grooming history. The topics covered in the consultation must include current medical issues of the animal and be listed on a form that is signed by both a facility employee and the customer.


B. Equipment.

a. All tethering devices must be equipped with a quick-release feature.
b. Grooming nooses, chokers, slip collars, pinch collars, and prong collars cannot be used as tethering devices.
c. Any tethering device, harness, or restraint used must be of appropriate style, size, and strength for the animal for which it is used.
d. Animals with disc disease of the neck, or a collapsed trachea or other breathing problems, must not be tethered or restrained in such a
manner that inhibits the animal’s ability to breathe. All reasonable efforts must be made to reduce or prevent pressure to the neck
and airways of the animal.
e. Grooming loops and tethering devices must be fastened to the animal in a manner that minimizes discomfort to the animal. Animals with
known medical or temperament issues must be tethered in a manner that does not create unnecessary discomfort for the animal.

2. Grooming arms. Grooming arms that restrain the animal to the grooming table must be strong enough to safely and securely restrain the animal.

3. Tabletops. Grooming tabletops must be equipped with a non-slip surface that is easy to clean.

4. Floor. Bath tubs and the floor immediately outside of the tubs must be covered in a non-slip surface.

5. Dryers
a. Cage or box dryers with a fully enclosed drying chamber in which the animal is placed, with heating elements and without safety vents,
are prohibited.
b. Dryers must be located in a place where the drying animals will be monitored by staff.
c. Pets in cage dryers must be observed at least every fifteen (15) minutes to ensure they are not overheating and the dryer is functioning
d. Malfunctioning dryers are not permitted to be used.


C. Housing. Each animal must be kept in a separate enclosure unless the customer asks that the animal be kept with another animal(s), and the enclosure is sufficiently large enough to accommodate the increased number of animals.


D. Veterinary Care. All grooming facilities must have a working relationship with and written acknowledgment from a veterinarian to provide timely veterinary care as appropriate for illness or injury. The name, address, phone number, and hours of operation of the veterinarian must be posted.


E. Permission of Owner/Custodian. The owner or custodian of the animal must give written permission to use an anti-bark collar, shock collar, sedatives, or any other medication.


F. Cleanliness.
1. All cages, benches, tables, and tubs must be sanitized after each animal has used the space.
2. Brushes, combs, and clipper blades must be sanitized before using on each animal.
3. The hair or fur on the floor of each grooming station must be removed after each animal receives a haircut.
4. Common areas of the facility must be kept in good repair and cleaned every business day.


G. Water. Water must be offered to animals at the facility at least once every three hours. Water dishes must be cleaned and sanitized between uses on each animal.


H. Staffing.
1. An animal grooming facility must have a manager or other responsible person on the premises acting as the manager, who is qualified as
a groomer under subsection H.2. to supervise employees while they are grooming animals.
2. Groomers who are employed by the licensee are not permitted to work without supervision on any animal unless the groomer has:
a. Obtained certification for his or her level of responsibility from a nationally recognized pet grooming organization approved
by the Director; or
b. Graduated from an animal grooming school or vocational grooming training and has at least one year of grooming experience; or
c. Completed an animal grooming apprenticeship program for at least one year commensurate with his or her level of



Utilizing the services of a professional groomer can make pet ownership easier and more enjoyable. Ensuring the safe and humane treatment of animals in grooming facilities is an important responsibility and Los Angeles County Code Title 10 sets strong and reasonable rules for their operations. It is yet another way DACC protects animals in Los Angeles County.


What else does DACC do to protect animals? Swap meet sales, backyard breeding, guard dog business operations, rodeos, and wild animal exhibitions are other animal activities regulated by Title 10. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more!


Marcia Mayeda

You can subscribe to Marcia’s blog here: https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/directors_blog/

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