TORONTO — Ontario is giving the green light to pet grooming businesses to reopen Thursday after being forced to close more than a month ago.
In an email to CTV News Toronto, a spokeswoman for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones confirmed the news and said the government is “providing clarification regarding pet grooming by amending the rules of O.Reg 82 /20 for areas in step 1”.
However, the amendment is not without limitations.
Pet grooming businesses can only open if they are providing “strictly necessary” services to prevent an animal from needing foreseeable and reasonably imminent veterinary care.
Businesses may also provide services if the animal owner has been required to obtain them under the Provincial Animal Protection Services Act, 2019.
The amendment states that services can only be provided by appointment and only one appointment can be made for an animal at a time.
Services must be provided in the form of curbside pick up and drop off of the animal.
The clarification comes after weeks of growing confusion among groomers and pet owners across Ontario who questioned whether the services were deemed essential.
Those working in the pet grooming industry welcomed the news.
Linda Kilpatrick is a groomer and owner of PetAgree Professional Grooming in Toronto and spoke about the importance of a well-groomed pet during an interview with CP24.
“People are sort of dependent on someone like me to keep their dog in good shape, to keep the hair tangled or untangled, to keep the nails short and the ears clean,” she said. “It’s a busy time for people, even when it’s closed, so they can’t always get around to the dog when dealing with kids.”
The mayors and presidents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area had also asked the government to clarify the rules.
Toronto Mayor John Tory reacted to the news, saying the amendment will “help” owners and their pets.
“And I think that suggests that there are certain things dogs need to have done that some people associate with aesthetics and appearance, but actually have to do with their health,” he said. he said Thursday during a virtual press conference.
Pet grooming businesses were closed when a province-wide lockdown came into effect on December 26. The province previously said grooming was only allowed when necessary for an animal’s health and said a veterinarian could provide those services.
MLA Christine Hogarth, who is also a parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General, told CP24 that since there are no limits on the services pets can receive during the modified reopening, it will be up to pet owners. pets and groomers to determine what is considered necessary.
“What we don’t want is to get to a point where our dogs have to have veterinary care,” she said. “Because there are some things we need to take care of for our pets and that’s the grooming part, not the cosmetic stuff.”
With files from The Canadian Press