The Puppy Lemon Law

If you bought a car that turned out to be a lemon, you can return it to the dealership for a refund. But what about a dog? Turns out, you can if you buy a sick dog from a California seller:

The law, officially known as the Pet Breeder Warranty Act, applies to cases in which the purchased dog gets sick due to an illness or disease that existed within 15 days of purchase. It also applies if problems arise in the first year after the sale because of a congenital or hereditary condition.

If you want to keep the dog, the law entitles you get your money back from the seller plus up to an additional 50% of the purchase price for veterinary costs.

The law also allows you to return the dog, like a piece of merchandise, and get a refund or a different dog of equivalent value. Still, you'd be entitled to reimbursement of "reasonable" veterinary costs.

Link (Photo: Shutterstock

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It also prevents disreputable pet stores from selling one variety and claiming it is another. I inherited a Maltese that was sold on the condition that it could be AKC registered. The original owner got a reimbursement.
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Connecticut has a similar law on the books and many pet stores/breeders offer even more protection. It's so hard to actually sell a dog these days it's one of the only pulls they have left. (I know because I used to work at a pet store in CT)
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A friend purchased a puppy from what was supposed to be a reputable dealer. The problems began a few months later when she started giving the puppy adult dog food. The puppy developed terrible stomach problems and diarrhea. It went on for months, with numerous trips to the vet and thousands and thousands of dollars. Finally, a specialist recognized the problem: the dog cannot digest animal protein. I know, it sounds insane, but the inbreeding and overbreeding of yellow labs has resulted in labs that can't digest animal products.

Her dog has to be fed special vegan dog food for the rest of her life, and they have to check all the labels on chew toys and treats to see if they contain any animal-sourced protein.

Since the problem didn't arise right away, they decided it would be too difficult to sue the breeder, who lives several hundred miles away.
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