City takes local business to court after owner refuses to apply for special permit


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local dog groomer is battling it out in court with the City of Albuquerque after Animal Welfare officers claim the business owner has been operating without a required permit.

Last summer, owner of Barking Bad Grooming Alex Campbell said, the city’s Animal Welfare Department paid him a visit.

According to court documents, Campbell was hit with three violations: One for “companion animal with no current annual animal license,” another for “no annual service provider permit” and the last violation is listed as “offense not identified.”

A city spokesperson said they could not comment on current litigation.

Campbell claims the city never explained what each violation meant and said he’s had trouble ever since, finding out.

“I have tried to get clarification on this, even in court, but no one seems to have the answers,” Campbell said. “I tried to contact [Animal Welfare]. They said that I’m a grooming parlor, so I have to have some type of a permit. But they don’t say what it is.”

Last September, an Animal Welfare officer inspected Campbell’s business. Court documents show he passed the inspection but was told he had 10 days to pay for the permit. The city said he never did.

Campbell has his business license, but lacks what the city calls a “pet service provider permit.” According to the city website, every grooming parlor, boarding kennel and animal daycare is required to have one. It’s a $75 yearly fee and Animal Welfare conducts the inspections.

“They go out and interview the business owners and look at their properties,” Animal Welfare Director Paul Caster said. “They’re looking to be sure that they have kennels of the appropriate size, that they have proper ventilation and that they have food and water.”

According to the city, nearly 300 other businesses in Albuquerque are required to apply for the same permit. Caster said his officers are also responsible for issuing Pet Store permits, Intact Companion permits and Dangerous Dog permits.

Campbell claims all this information was never explained to him and that initially he thought it was a scam.

“I was under the impression that the only time city government does get involved, especially for like a small business like me, is if I’m doing something that’s fraudulent, shady or questionable,” he said.

Because Campbell refused to pay for the permit, the city is now taking him to court. The trial is scheduled for June 27.

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