Mews Briefs

Proponents fight for grooming legislation; S.F. shelter waives pit bull adoption fees for December; Bay Area Pet Fair sets adoption record

Lola is one of many sweet pittie mixes waiting to go home for the holidays. PHOTO: San Francisco Animal CARE and CONTROL


The national headlines are horrifying: “Dog bakes to death in dryer,” “Fourth dog death at Happy Tails Pet Spa,” “Animal hanged to death at Petco.” An Internet search for “dog grooming death” brings up page after page of similar stories. Marina resident Hannah Hartman says she feels lucky in comparison — her 7-year-old Shih Tzu, Joey, escaped a routine grooming at a Novato-based Petco with a dislocated hip — but Hartman has become a tireless advocate for regulating the industry, because she doesn’t want other dogs injured or killed.

Senate Bill 969, also called Lucy’s Law for a dog badly maimed by a groomer, would have made California the first state to require vocational licenses for pet groomers, but lawmakers voted it down in August 2012. Now Hartman is crusading to revive the bill and says she’s angry at the lack of interest from her senator, Mark Leno. “It’s heartbreaking that nothing has progressed since my single phone conversation with Leno’s legislative assistant, Sunday Balalis, on Sept. 16. Not only was I never given the opportunity to speak with Senator Leno, but I was also told that I should seek other legislators,” Hartman says. “It’s disheartening to know that our local representative, a man who publicly claims to love animals, apparently doesn’t care about the well being of our beloved family members.”

She also points out that groomers are now regulated in a number of cities, including Miami and New York. States such as Connecticut and Colorado (which has some of the toughest grooming oversight in the nation) have also begun regulating the largely unregulated industry.

Yet California, considered one of the most pet-friendly states in the country, doesn’t require licensing, training, or oversight.

Let Senator Mark Leno know that you would like him to sponsor Lucy’s Law: [email protected] or 415-557-1300.


San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC) is overflowing with pit bull mixes this holiday season, so they’re waiving adoption fees throughout December. As a lifelong pit bull advocate and parent (to my beloved Jazzy, and now to my dear Skylar, whom I adopted from ACC), I know how sweet, loyal, smart, and funny pitties are when given loving homes. “Pit bull” is not actually a breed but rather a type of dog that falls under the “bully breed” category. Bully breeds include all bulldogs (English, French, American, etc.), American and English Staffordshire terriers, bull terriers, bullmastiffs, and Boston terriers, among oth­ers. Many pit bulls are mixes of different bully breeds or other breeds (Labrador retriever/Staffordshire terrier is one of the most common).

At ACC’s “Forever-Home for the Holidays” promotion, every pittie comes with the shelter’s seal of approval and free training certificates from Pawsitive Solutions. Plus, each adopter receives a wrapped present of supplies (sweater, toys, treats, collar, leash, and other gifts) with each dog to make their holidays as bright as can be. It’s no fun being stuck in a lonely kennel, so head down to ACC and bring a pittie home for the holidays — you may just meet your very own Jazzy or Skylar!

SF/ACC Rescue Row: 1200 15th St. (at Harrison), 415-554-6364,


The largest animal adoption fair in California, Bay Area Pet Fair 2015, sponsored by Pet Food Express, set new records during the two-day free event held Oct. 10 and 11 at the Marin Center in San Rafael. More than 25,000 people attended, many with their furry family members, and 1,158 pets were adopted. Pet Food Express Founder Michael Levy says he is most proud of the number of animals who found loving forever homes: “Over the past five years, we’ve helped nearly 4,000 pets find homes, including dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, guinea pigs, bunnies, and even a pigeon.”

For information on next year’s event (Oct. 15-16), visit

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