Puppy Lemon Laws
Puppy Lemon Laws have become more and more common as mall pet stores become more common. As dog lovers are thrilled to see more people enjoying the companionship of dogs, the demand has created an industry that has more than its share of problems. Puppy Lemon Laws are an effort to address some of these problems.
All Puppy Lemon Laws give dog purchasers the right to return a sick or dead puppy for a refund or replacement. Most also give consumers the option of retaining the puppy, having it treated and getting some level of reimbursement for veterinary expenses from the seller.
This Law is the most hard on sellers of unhealthy dogs, but hobby breeders do not fall under its provisions except for the extremely active ones . It is also important to note that this Law obligates the seller to cover 1 1/2 times the purchase price of the dog in veterinary expenses should the purchaser elect to have the dog treated.
Pros: long period in which to find congenital or hereditary conditions.
Update 4-6-2001 Pertains to anyone who sold, transferred, or given away two or more litters during the preceding calendar year. See: AB 161
Cons: obligation to cover veterinary expenses above the purchase price of the dog may be considered punitive.
- Applies to: any one who sells more than 50 dogs per year.
- Contagious or Infectious Disease: 15 days
- Congenital or Hereditary Defects: 1 year
- Failure to Produced Advertised Registration Papers: yes, within 120 days, otherwise return dog for full refund or receive refund of 75% of purchase price if you keep the dog.
- Replacement: yes, plus reimbursement for veterinary expenses related to certifying the dogs illness up to the price of the dog including sales tax.
- Refund: yes, plus reimbursement for veterinary expenses related to certifying the dogs illness up to the price of the dog including sales tax.
- Reimbursement of Veterinary Expenses to Treat Dog: yes, up to 150% of the purchase price of the dog plus sales tax.
A STATEMENT OF CALIFORNIA LAW GOVERNING THE SALE OF DOGS
The sale of dogs is subject to consumer protection regulations. In the event that a California licensed veterinarian states in writing that your dog is unfit to purchase because it became ill due to an illness of disease which existed within 15 days following delivery to you, or within one year in the case of congenital or hereditary condition, you may choose one of the following;
Return your dog and receive a refund of the purchase price, plus sales tax, and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinarian fees up to the cost of the dog plus sales tax.
Return your dog and receive a dog of your choice of equivalent value, providing a replacement dog is available, and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinarian fees up to the cost of the dog, plus sales tax.
Keep the dog and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinarian fees up to 150 percent of the original purchase price of the dog plus sales tax on the original purchase price of the dog.
In the event your dog dies, you may receive a refund for the purchase price of the dog, plus sales tax, or a replacement dog of your choice, of equivalent value, and reimbursement of reasonable veterinary fees for the diagnosis and treatment of the dog, if a veterinarian licensed in this state, states in writing that the dog has died due to an illness or disease which existed within 15 days after the purchaser obtained physical possession of the dog after the sale by a pet dealer, or states that the dog has died due to a congenital or hereditary condition which was diagnosed by the veterinarian within one year after the purchaser obtained physical possession of the dog after the sale by a pet dealer. These fees may not exceed the purchase price of the dog, plus sales tax.
In order to exercise these rights, you must notify the pet dealer as quickly as possible but no later than five (5) days after learning from your veterinarian that a problem exists. You must tell the pet dealer about the problem and give the pet dealer the name and telephone number of the veterinarian providing the diagnosis.
If you are making a claim, you must also present to the pet dealer a written veterinary statement, in a form prescribed by law that the animal is unfit for purchase and an itemized statement of all veterinary fees related to the claim. This information must be presented to the pet dealer no later than five (5) days after you have received the written statement from the veterinarian.
In the event that the pet dealer wishes to contest the statement, or the veterinarian s bill the pet dealer may request that you produce the dog for examination by a licenses veterinarian of the pet dealer s choice. The pet dealer shall pay the cost of this examination.
In the event of death, the deceased dog need not be returned to the pet dealer if you submit a statement issued by a licensed veterinarian stating the cause of death.
If the parties cannot resolve the claim within 10 business days following receipt of the veterinarian statement or the examination by the pet dealer s veterinarian, whichever event occurs later, you may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to resolve the dispute. If a party acts in bad faith, the other party may collect reasonable attorney s fees. If the pet dealer does not contest the matter, the pet dealer must make the refund or reimbursement no later than 10 business days after receiving the veterinary certification.
If the pet dealer has represented your dog as registerable with a pedigree organization, the pet dealer shall provide you with the necessary papers to process the registration within 120 days following the date you receive the dog. If the pet dealer fails to deliver the papers within the prescribed time frame, you are entitled to return the dog for a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, or a refund of 75 percent of the purchase price, including sales tax if you choose to keep the dog.
This statement is a summary of key provisions of the consumer remedies available. California law also provides safeguards to protect pet dealers from abuse. If you have any questions, obtain a copy of the complete relevant statutes.
This notice shall be contained as a separate document. The written notice shall be in 10-point type. The notice shall be signed by the purchaser acknowledging that he or she has reviewed the notice. The pet dealer shall permit persons to review the written notice upon request.
NOTICE This disclosure of rights is a summary of California Law. The actual statutes are contained in Chapter 14.5 (commencing with Section 25995f) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code