State senator to introduce bill requiring licenses for dog groomers

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -

A state senator says he wants to ensure proper training for dog groomers across New Jersey.

State Sen. Kip Bateman says he is planning to introduce a bill that would require dog groomers to be licensed by the state.

The proposal comes after recent dog deaths during grooming at chain pet stores, including one at a Toms River PetSmart in March.

The pet store say it is investigating the incident and waiting to learn the cause of death.

Diane Morriale has worked as a groomer at Whiskers and Tails for 28 years, and is concerned about the possible bill.

"Are you going to sit down at a desk and take a written test? It's not about that, grooming is nothing about that, it's about knowing how to handle dogs," says Morriale.

Morriale says patience is the key in dog grooming, and that if a dog shows distress her staff will stop working immediately.

Whiskers and Tails also prepares their staff by starting employees as bathers and then teaching them to take on more roles later.

Morriale recommends that dog owners look for experienced groomers, particularly those who own older or injured dogs.

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