ORANGE COUNTY, FL – The State of Florida has sent a cease and desist letter to a local dog grooming school.
It comes after a News 6 investigation in which two women said they paid thousands of dollars to school but got nothing.
Ashely Roach says aspiring to be a dog groomer was obvious.
âI love dogs. I have grown up with dogs my whole life,â she said.
Lisa Riff told a similar story.
âI worked at PetSmart years ago and just decided this was what I wanted to do for a career,â Riff said.
The two women met while attending Dog Groomer Academy in eastern Orange County.
âOne day I was hoping to open my own business, even though I’m doing it from home,â Roach said.
Both women paid high school fees. Riff paid almost $ 4,000. Roach paid nearly $ 6,000, according to receipts the two women provided to News 6.
Riff and Roach say they got the program from school and started school a week apart.
It was supposed to be a 200 hour course, but they say what they left to be desired.
âShe didn’t put a dog on the table and show us, that’s what you do for that dog,â Roach said of the instructor’s teaching technique. “Basically they handed us dogs and told us to cut them off.”
Dog Groomer Academy states on their website that you can become a “certified” dog groomer. Florida does not require dog groomers to have certification.
We asked if the website is misleading. Lawyer Juan De La Torre represents the Dog Groomer Academy.
âThere is nothing intentionally misleading,â he said.
De La Torre and Adamaris Lopez, who is an instructor in the family business, have agreed to do an interview.
âWe actually have requirements that we have established at our school to ensure that all of our students have some sort of structure and proper training,â Lopez said.
But there could be a bigger problem. The state requires schools to be accredited.
After News 6 inquired, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said in an email: “At this time, Dog Groomer Academy is not accredited by the Commission for Independent Education.”
De La Torre later said the school had applied for a license and was working to correct any shortcomings.
âIt was unnecessary,â Roach said. “It was basically like we were paying them to do their jobs while they were seated.”
The Florida Department of Education sent News 6 a copy of the letter it sent to Dog Groomer Academy.
“Immediately stop all advertising as a school, college or university. Stop soliciting and enrolling students,” the letter said.
The letter also states that the school must apply for a license to practice.
If you want to become a dog groomer, always check to see if the school is licensed by going to the Florida Department of Education website.
Before taking your pet to a groomer, ask where the groomer went to school.
In some cases, you can contact the school and ask if the person has graduated and if the school would recommend them as a groomer.
Copyright 2019 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.