It’s hard to believe, but November is already here. Forget the turkey, attention is now going to be focused on Christmas. Many people at this time of year think about adding a furry friend to their family. Pets, especially cats and dogs, are a very popular Christmas present. Unfortunately, there are many disreputable breeders out there. Even worse, the small pet stores that fuel the puppy-mill trade. What happens if you purchase a pet and problems arise? Fortunately, here in Florida consumers have one of the most encompassing pet buying protection laws in the country.Anyone who buys a pet in Florida needs to be aware of Florida Statutes § 828.29 – Florida’s Pet Lemon law. The law applies to both cats and dogs. It provides many protections. Here are a few of the highlights.
● The law requires vaccinations and examinations for animals prior to sale.
● A pet dealer may not knowingly misrepresent the breed, sex, or health of any dog or cat offered for sale within the state. The definition of a pet dealer is defined as anyone who sells more than 2 litters or 20 dogs per year, whichever is greater. It includes active hobby breeders.
● Consumers have 14 days to document contagious or infectious disease and a full year to document congenital or hereditary defects.
● The Pet Lemon Law provides for replacement plus reimbursement for veterinary expenses related to certifying the illness, up to the price of the dog.
● If a dog is proven ill or defect, consumers may demand a refund or replacement plus reimbursement of veterinary expenses up to the price of the dog.
A customer is entitled to receive a certificate of veterinary inspection with each dog or cat purchased from a pet dealer. The certificate has to list all vaccines and deworming medications administered to the animal and must state that the animal has been examined by a Florida-licensed veterinarian. The veterinarian has to certifies that, to the best of his or her knowledge, the animal was found to have been healthy at the time of the examination.In the event that the consumer purchases the animal and finds it to have been unfit for purchase, the consumer must notify the pet dealer within 2 business days of the veterinarian’s determination that the animal was unfit. The customer also has the right to retain, return, or exchange the animal and receive reimbursement for certain related veterinary services rendered to the animal, subject to the right of the dealer to have the animal examined by different veterinarian.Click here for a link to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’s webpage which includes the full text of Florida’s Pet Lemon Law. If you feel that you may have a Pet Lemon Law matter, contact Asselta Law today for a free consultation with Richard Asselta, knowledgeable Animal Law Attorney. Asselta Law concentrates on Education Law and Animal Law, as well as Appeals. Asselta Law represents clients throughout the state of Florida and the United States. Credit cards accepted. Affordable payment plans available.