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.
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."
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.
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.
"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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