Bill to protect dog families and pets from unqualified trainers passes assembly committee

ByRandall Yip KGO logo
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Crackdown on untrained dog trainers underway
Following the deaths and injury of several dogs under a trainer's care, the California State Assembly moves to crack down on unqualified dog trainers.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A bill inspired by a series of 7 On Your Side stories about dogs who were killed or left severely injured passed its first hurdle today in the California State Assembly.

There are no qualifications or requirements for anyone to call themselves a dog trainer... and that has lead to some deadly consequences. A bill authored by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D - San Fernando Valley) would offer some protection to pet families looking to hire a trainer.

"Complete shock, it ruined our trip. It really did," Jane Creswell said tearfully in 2018.

RELATED: Families remember lost pets amid renewed calls for regulation of dog training industry

That's how she reacted after learning that her beloved poodle Kenzie had been mauled while in the care of a dog trainer.

A second dog, Dolly, also owned by Creswell and left with that same trainer, died this past summer of injuries from that same incident.

"Sorry," said Lauren Meyers as she cried. "I think it's pretty minimal. I don't think we'll ever get him back."

RELATED: Bay Area dog trainer sentenced for 4 felony counts of animal abuse

That's what she told 7 On Your Side earlier this year about her dog Thor, after the dog trainer she left him with never returned him to her.

Today both Creswell and Myers testified by phone before the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.

They are supporting Assembly Bill 1901 that would require a dog trainer to disclose their training techniques.

The trainer would also be required to outline a training plan and reveal if their training business has ever had a civil judgment against it.

RELATED: Dogs would gain protection in California under new dog trainer bill

They would also have to divulge any certifications or training they have received to train dogs.

Assemblyman Nazarian talked about why he introduced the bill.

"Too many owners, dog owners, have been negatively impacted by trainers who withhold their qualifications and training techniques," he said.

The emotions are still raw for Creswell.

RELATED: Two dog deaths spark concern about lack of regulations for dog trainers

"There's no justice for Kenzie, who was mauled to death in an apartment, and there's no justice for Dolly either," said Creswell.

"I think had this bill been put into place, we would not have used the trainer that we used," Myers said.

The bill passed out of the Business and Professions Committee and goes to the Appropriations Committee next. 7 On Your Side will keep you updated.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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