Ontario is giving pet grooming businesses the green light to reopen Thursday after being forced to close more than a month ago.
In an email to PC24, a spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones confirmed the news and said the government is “bringing clarity to the grooming of pets through an amendment to the Rules of Procedure. ‘Ontario 82/20 Rules for Zones in Step 1’.
However, the amendment is not without restrictions.
Pet grooming businesses can only open if they provide “strictly necessary” services to prevent an animal from requiring foreseeable and reasonably imminent veterinary care.
Companies can also provide services if the animal owner has been required to obtain them under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019.
The amendment clarifies that services can only be provided by appointment and that only one appointment can be made for one animal at a time.
Services should be provided in the form of curbside pickup and drop-off of the animal.
The clarification comes after weeks of growing confusion among groomers and pet owners across Ontario who have questioned whether the services are deemed essential or not.
Those who work in the pet grooming industry have welcomed the news.
Linda Kilpatrick is a groomer and owner of Toronto-based PetAgree Professional Grooming and emphasized the importance of a well-groomed pet when speaking to CP24.
“People kind of depend on someone like me to keep their dog in good shape, to keep their hair untangled or disentangled, to keep their fingernails short and their ears clean,” she said.
“It’s a busy time for people, even when it’s closed, so they can’t always get close to the dog when dealing with children. “
The mayors and presidents of the GTA and the Hamilton region also called on the government to clarify the rules.
Toronto Mayor John Tory responded to the news saying the amendment “will help” owners and their pets.
“And I think that suggests that there are certain things the dogs had to do that some people associate with aesthetics and appearance, but which actually have to do with their health,” he said. he said Thursday at a virtual press conference.
Pet grooming businesses were closed when a province-wide lockdown went into effect on December 26. The province had previously said grooming was only allowed when necessary for the health of an animal and said a veterinarian could provide these services.
MPP Christine Hogarth, who is also the Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General, told CP24 that as there are no limits to the services pets can receive during the modified reopening, it will be up to the owners of the animals and groomers to determine what is considered necessary.
“What we don’t want is to get to a point where our dogs need to have vet care,” she said. “Because there are some things we need to take care of for our pets and that’s the grooming room, not the cosmetic stuff.” “
With files from the Canadian Press