Pet Lemon Laws
There are currently seventeen states with Pet
Lemon Laws. Stores all over the country have been opening up to sell
pets. Often times the pets that are raised in these stores are sick
or have a congenital disease. The risk for illness and disease is
higher for those pets that have been sold through a store or puppy
mill. The Pet Lemon Laws were put into effect to protect consumers
against defective pets.
As of now, most states¡¦ Pet Lemon Laws only apply to dogs. There are
a few states that protect cat purchasers as well. Most of the Pet
Lemon Laws state that a pet that is sick or dead may be returned for
a refund or a replacement pet. Often times the pet buyer is given
the opportunity to treat the pet¡¦s illness. Veterinary bills are
covered by the seller. Usually, the medical bills cannot exceed the
purchase sale price plus tax of the pet.
Most Pet Lemon Laws give the consumer two weeks to return the pet to
the store if the pet is sick or dead. For a congenital defect, or a
serious or fatal disease, some states will give up to one year to
return the pet to the seller with a veterinary note for either a
full refund or exchange. Worms or parasites are not covered under
most state laws as being a serious illness.
When can you apply the Pet Lemon Laws? If a store does not comply
with a refund or replacement within a reasonable number of days upon
receiving a Veterinary note stating the illness, you should file a
claim against the seller. Usually, attorney fees are granted to the
winner of the case.
The Pet Lemon Laws do not cover any pet that has developed a serious
illness or defect due to neglect or abuse of the animal by the
purchaser. Maltreatment and injuries that occur after the sale of
the pet are not covered under the law as well. Further, if the
disease or illness is disclosed to the buyer at the time of
purchase, the pet lemon laws do not apply.
The 17 states that have Pet Lemon Laws are Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. If you are going
to purchase a pet in one of these states, research the individual
state¡¦s laws to find out their exact coverage of the Pet Lemon Laws.