Fox 5 DC correspondent Sierra Fox seemed to think the public would be shocked to find out that companies did not need state permission to groom pets and that viewers might be ” concerned after hearing that “.
Anyone familiar with the scare tactics of local television news outlets may have assumed that its coverage would lead to widespread public criticism that everyone’s beloved French Bulldogs and Labradoodles were in grave danger. But when Fox tweeted a preview of her article, she was instead inundated with responses from people who understand how our overreliance on government-mandated professional licenses is cutting economic opportunities for low-income people without surrendering us. more secure:
No, I am not at all concerned. I am concerned that professional licensing requirements have collapsed, significantly limiting the entry of financially disabled people into many low-risk jobs.
– Space Crab Spiff (@pickingcrabs) July 29, 2021
Fox’s investigation was inspired by an earlier this week story of a family who took their dog, Stardust, to a local groomer to have their nails clipped. Something went wrong and the dog died. It is not clear how the dog died and it is not clear whether it is directly related to the grooming. A technician told the family the dog had had a seizure. The dog grooming store, named Life of Riley, told Fox 5 that the dog died of heatstroke.
It’s a tragedy, that’s for sure. However, it is not yet clear who the groomer was responsible. Nonetheless, Fox took it a step further and discovered that anyone can call themselves a dog groomer without getting permission from the government. She spoke with a representative from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who said they receive weekly complaints of grooming abuse and accidents and encouraged affected residents to contact lawmakers if they wish to require groomers get a license.
But Fox’s attempts to spark outrage from pet owners appear to have failed. She went to Happy Grooming in Arlington, Va., And found pet owners who gave the shop great reviews and said they never had any issues, despite the lack of warrants. state license. And the shop owner told Fox she didn’t think a license was really necessary because it was “just a piece of paper” and noted that many professional groomers had been working for decades without a license. and without complaining.
This isn’t the first time that an isolated case of one or two pet deaths has prompted fear-motivated calls for a professional license. Shoshana Weissmann, a member of the R Street free market think tank and expert professional licensing analyst, wrote in 2018 about a New Jersey bill that would have introduced dog grooming regulations there . The inspiration was apparently several injured or dead dogs after visiting pet groomers at PetSmart stores.
Weissmann noted at the time that requiring dog grooming licenses wouldn’t actually solve the problem because PetSmart could easily afford to pay for the training. But there would be completely independent consequences. The irony here is that professional licensing would likely hurt PetSmart’s smaller independent competitors:
[A]The addition of licensing requirements will prevent small groomers from practicing, including struggling small businesses, teens who have learned to groom for extra money, and other more modest individual groomers who have been grooming pets for years but cannot afford the training.
She reiterated her concerns today at Raison in response to Fox’s alarmism.
“People babysit without a license,” she says. “Permission wasn’t the problem with grooming. If you hurt the dog, either the dog had a problem or you want to hurt the dogs.” Grooming licenses would not solve any of the problems, “it will only put people out of business.”
Rather than relying on government licenses, Weissmann encouraged pet owners to engage in a bit of research and due diligence for pet groomers near them. Ask your friends and search for reviews online. Even without government mandates, there are voluntary pet grooming certification programs for professionals, and pet owners can request proof of training.
Weismann says she liked seeing all of Fox’s tweets criticizing her article, although Weismann wishes people were a little nicer to the reporter in their responses.
“I wish that [Fox] had reached out more, ”Weissmann says. “It was nice to see people on the left and right criticizing him. It was nice to see people realize that this is ridiculous. “