Puppy Lemon Law
When you buy a cat or dog from a pet store, they are required to give you the following written information:
- Date of birth
- Shots that have been administered
- Breed, sex and color
- Any veterinary treatment the animal has received
- A statement that the animal has been examined by a veterinarian
- A statement that the veterinarian found no congenital or hereditary condition affecting the animal or likely to affect it in the future
- A record, signed by the veterinarian, of any disease or illness the animal has or is likely to have in the future
- On request, a copy of the "puppy lemon law," title 44, chapter 11, article 17 of the Arizona Revised Statutes "Pet Dealers" section.
- Information on the original source of the animal is to be available for review
If you do find that a cat or dog you bought at a pet store was sold to you in ill health, you may be entitled to compensation for your veterinary expenses. You must first obtain either:
- A statement from a veterinarian, within 15 days of purchase, that in his or her opinion the animal has become ill with a condition that existed in the animal prior to sale; or
- A statement from a veterinarian, within 60 days of purchase, that the animal has a congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects her health or requires or is likely to require hospitalization or surgery.
To qualify for compensation under this law, you must notify the pet store of the animal's health problem in writing, within five days after a veterinarian diagnoses the problem. You must also offer to show the animal to the pet dealer, along with all records you have from your veterinarian regarding the animal's condition.
The law also requires that pet stores provide basic care of the cats and dogs in their possession, including:
- Maintain facilities in which animals are housed in a sanitary condition;
- Provide animals with potable water and adequate nutrition;
- Provide adequate space, meaning sufficient to experience normal body movements without making contact with the sides or top of the enclosure, including standing, sitting, turning or relaxing in a natural position;
- If the animals are housed on wire flooring, a resting board, floormat or similar device is required to permits rest off of the wire flooring;
- Promptly provide veterinary care when it is necessary.
Animal Defense League of Arizona web site: