EL PASO, Texas -- In what local officials are calling "the first grooming ordinance of its kind in the country," El Paso City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a measure designed to increase protections for pets in the wake of a puppy's death allegedly at the hands of a groomer.
The city will now require pet groomers to obtain special training and certification in order to become licensed, and it will require shop owners to conduct background checks before hiring groomers.
In addition, council voted to expand restrictions on the use of dog restraints and set standards for animal care at pet grooming facilities.
Council's action, which was urged by the city's police and animal services departments, comes in the wake of last month's arrest of a pet groomer on animal cruelty charges for allegedly 'roughly' and 'aggressively' grooming a puppy, causing its death.
31–year-old Leobardo Nava was an employee at Happy Paws Dog Grooming, in the 12000 block of Edgemere Boulevard in east El Paso, at the time of the incident. The business owners have maintained they had no knowledge of Nava's alleged mistreatment of a 16-week-old Shi-Poo puppy named Luccas.
The new regulations adopted by the city are contained as part of this broader presentation on animal services made to council that you can view below.