SECTION 1. Chapter 140 of the Massachusetts General laws is hereby amended by adding the following section 137E:
SECTION 2. The following words in this section shall have the following meanings:
“Board” means the Dog Trainer Board of Examiners established under section 2 of this act.
“Director” means the Director of the Division of Professional Licensure
“Dog training” means the handling or training of dogs for a fee, salary, or other form of compensation.
“Dog trainer” means a person engaged in the practice of dog training or behavior modification who is licensed pursuant to the provisions of this act.
SECTION 3. There is hereby created within the Division of Professional Licensure the Dog Trainer Board of Examiners. The board shall consist of nine members who are residents of this State and who shall be appointed by the Governor, as follows: one member shall be from the Department of Agriculture; three members shall be, except for the members first appointed, dog trainers licensed pursuant to the provisions of this act; two members shall be veterinarians licensed in this State; and three members shall be affiliated with an animal protection group. The Governor shall appoint each member, other than the State executive department member, for terms of four years, except that of the members first appointed, two shall serve for a term of four years, two shall serve for a term of three years, two shall serve for a term of two years, and two shall serve for terms of one year. Any vacancy in the membership of the board shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided for the original appointment. No member of the board may serve more than two successive terms in addition to any unexpired term to which the member has been appointed.
SECTION 4. The board shall organize within 30 days after the appointment of its members and shall annually elect from among its members a chairperson and vice-chairperson, and shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the board. The board shall meet twice a year and may hold additional meetings as necessary to discharge its duties. A majority of the board membership shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 5. The board shall:
a. adopt a seal to authenticate its records and proceedings;
b. prescribe rules pertaining to types and methods of examination of applicants for licensure;
c. examine and pass on the qualifications of applicants for licensure under this act, and issue a license to each qualified and successful applicant, attesting to the applicant’s professional qualification to practice as a dog trainer;
d. keep records of its proceedings and a register of all persons to whom licenses have been issued, and a record of all license renewals, suspensions and revocations;
e. maintain records of expenses incurred by members of the board in the performance of their duties;
f. take disciplinary action, against any dog trainer who violates the provisions of this act or any regulation promulgated hereunder;
g. adopt rules and regulations as it deems necessary to administer the provisions of this act; and
h. Prescribe or change the charges for examination, licensure, renewal and other services performed.
SECTION 6. There shall be an Executive Director of the board appointed by the director who shall serve at the director's pleasure. The salary of the Executive Director shall be determined by the director within the limit of available funds. The director may, within the limits of available funds, hire any assistants as are necessary to administer this act.
SECTION 7. No person shall practice, attempt to practice, or hold himself out as being able to practice dog training unless that person is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this act.
SECTION 8. To be eligible to be licensed as a dog trainer, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:
a. be at least 18 years of age;
b. be of good moral character;
c. have successfully completed high school or successfully passed a high school equivalency examination developed by the General Education Development (GED) Testing Service;
d. have successfully completed a minimum of 300 hours in dog training, under the supervision of, and documented by, a dog trainer licensed pursuant to this act, within the three years immediately preceding application for licensure under this act pursuant to the following:
(1) of the 300 hours required, no less than 225 hours shall include training in conducting group dog training classes, conducting private dog training classes, and consulting with clients;
(2) of the 300 hours required, up to 75 hours may include work as a licensed dog trainer’s assistant, work as a veterinary technician or assistant, work as a dog groomer, volunteering at an animal shelter, designing dog training lesson plans, or consulting with a licensed dog trainer on client cases;
(3) hours of experience gained as a licensed dog trainer’s assistant may count toward the hours required under paragraph (1) of this subsection provided that the applicant’s role as an assistant includes actively instructing a client or training a dog;
(4) if any of the hours of experience gained under paragraph (2) of this subsection are not under the supervision of a licensed dog trainer, the applicant shall provide documentation from any other person that supervised the applicant, including, but not limited to, a veterinarian, an owner or supervisory employee of a dog grooming business, or a supervisory employee of an animal shelter; and
(5) the 300 hours of experience required under this subsection shall not apply to any applicant who submits proof satisfactory to the board no later than 180 days after the date procedures are established by the board for applying for licensure under this act that the applicant has engaged in the practice of dog training in this State continuously for at least one year prior to the effective date of this act; and
e. pass an examination administered or approved by the board to determine the applicant's competence to practice dog training; except that this requirement shall not apply to any applicant who submits proof satisfactory to the board no later than 180 days after the date procedures are established by the board for applying for licensure under this act that the applicant has passed any Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) certification examination, or any other examination that is determined by the board to be a substantially similar assessment of dog training skills and competency, prior to the effective date of this act.
SECTION 9. Each applicant for a license as a dog trainer shall be examined by the board. The examination shall be held at least twice a year at the times and places to be determined by the board. The board, in consultation with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), shall adopt as the examination required under this section any examination as developed and administered by CCPDT, or any other examination that is determined by the board to be a substantially similar assessment of dog training skills and competency.
SECTION 10. a. All licenses shall be issued for a three-year period and shall be renewed upon filing a renewal application.
b. All applicants shall pay a fee for licensure and renewal for licensure under this act. Fees shall be determined by the board and established by regulation. The revenue generated from these fees shall not exceed the operating costs incurred by the board in administering this act.
c. A license shall not be renewed until the license holder submits satisfactory evidence to the board that during the preceding three years the license holder has completed such continuing education credits as are to be determined by the board pursuant to regulation. The board shall approve, in consultation with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), continuing education credits that build upon the basic knowledge of dog training and which enhance the competency of the license holder. The board may make exceptions from the continuing education requirement in emergency or hardship cases with the approval of an affirmative vote of a majority of the board.
SECTION 11. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2021.
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