As announced earlier this year, IBPSA has teamed with the Animal Policy Group to bring additional legislative insight and support for IBPSA Members. As the pet care industry has grown so, too, has related legislative action, particularly at the state level of government and we want to make sure our membership stays on top of what could affect them, as well as offer assistance in educating legislators on the facts of owning and operating a safe and prosperous pet care business. As part of this legislative support benefit for our IBPSA Members, we are launching this Legislative News Update. In it you’ll find Animal Policy Group’s highlighted bill from their bi-weekly full report. These bills, if enacted, can often be harbingers of similar bills happening in other areas. We’ll also scan the current news and bring you highlights related to pet care industry legislation and regulation.
Be sure to keep IBPSA apprised of legislative activity in your area.
by Mark Cushing, Animal Policy Group
Illinois HB3390 requires kennel operators to install a fire alarm system. This bill is making progress toward passage. The Illinois legislature adjourns on May 31, 2019. The most recent House amendment states: a kennel operator that maintains dogs or cats for boarding and that is not staffed at all times shall be equipped with at least one fire alarm system or fire sprinkler system in operating condition in every building of the kennel operator that is used for the housing of animals. The bill requires the kennel operator to certify in its license application and annually certify in its license renewal that either: (1) its facility has a fire alarm system or a fire sprinkler system, and shall include with the application or license renewal an attached description and picture of the make and model of the system used; or (2) the kennel is staffed at all times dogs or cats are on the premises, and shall include with the application or license renewal an attached staffing plan.
Note: To read the full Animal Policy Group biweekly report, the PDF is available via your IBPSA Member dashboard in the Legislative News Workspace. Here, you can also post and discuss legislative-related topics relative to your area.
In May, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) launched a public awareness and safety campaign “to help ensure pets are properly cared for while at a boarding facility.” As noted in a news report on the campaign: “Currently, there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts…ARL and other animal welfare organizations are advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets.”
A recent Tennessee case of a dog training facility and a trainer being charged with aggravated animal cruelty after the death of a dog has sparked a conversation on the lack of regulations. As discussed in a news report on that story: “Several states, including North Carolina, Missouri and Georgia, have laws regulating animal care facilities, but the industry as a whole remains largely unregulated. There are several independent organizations — such as the American Kennel Club and the International Boarding & Pet Services Association — that provide guidelines for animal care facilities, but those guidelines are not backed by law in most states, including Tennessee.”
The progress of a lawsuit by a former employee, a groomer, against a pet boarding facility for an alleged injury sustained on the job is being followed in Pet Care Pro Quarterly. The claims in the lawsuit are asserted under “common law”—that is, no violation of specific state pet boarding or grooming codes and regulations is needed to bring a lawsuit for what the employee claims was, briefly stated, the facility’s negligence in safety and training. The former employee is suing for a million dollars. “Lawsuit Watch: Employee Sues Pet Boarding Facility for $1 Million for Alleged Injuries Sustained While Grooming” can be found on page 18 of the Q2 2019 issue of Pet Care Pro Quarterly.
Animal Policy Group’s founder and CEO, Mark Cushing, will present a session on “Legislation and Agency Challenges in the Pet Care Services Industry” at the Seventh Annual IBPSA Pet Care Services Educational Conference & Trade Show happening October 1-3, 2019, in Palm Springs, California. How do legislation and agency regulations impact you as a pet care services provider? As a business owner? What can you do when faced with unfavorable legislation or agency rules? Whether you’re a legislative “wonk” or if your knowledge is limited to Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill”, this eye-opening and engaging session breaks down the legislative realities of working in the pet care services industry. Learn more about the session here.