Librarian Files

 Puppy Lemon Law

Arizona has a law covering your rights when you purchase a dog or cat from a pet store. 
“Your Rights
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
My Puppy Is Sick
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.
The statement must contain full details.
If your animal qualifies, the law offers you three options: to return the animal for a refund; to return the animal for another, similar animal; or reimbursement from the pet store for reasonable veterinary expenses, up to the amount of the original purchase price of the animal, including transaction privilege and tax.
The pet store owner or employee will likely try to persuade you to take the second option, but if you do return the sick animal for either a refund or another animal, you can assume that it will be killed, and that the pet store may continue making future purchases from the same supplier that sold them the sick animal.
Other Important Aspects of the Law
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.
If the cat or dog dies within 15 days of purchase, you are entitled to replacement or reimbursement if you show a written veterinarian's statement showing that she died of an illness that existed before the purchase. You are not required to return the animal's body.
When applying to the pet store for reimbursement of veterinary expenses, you must present an itemized bill of the veterinarian's fees. Unless the pet store contests your demand for reimbursement, they must pay within 30 days.
The pet store will not have to pay reimbursement if the animal's illness or death resulted from maltreatment or neglect by you, or from an injury which occurred after the sale; or if the veterinary statement received at the time of sale disclosed the disease or condition for which you are seeking reimbursement.
Parasites are not a qualifying illness for compensation under this law.
The entire text of the law is available at
Did you know...
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.
Pet stores are not allowed to offer cats or dogs for sale that are less than eight weeks old.
Pet stores are required to post the following notice near the dog and cat cages or enclosures:
"Pursuant to title 44, chapter 11, article 17, Arizona Revised Statutes, information on the source of the cat or dog and any veterinary treatment received by the cat or dog is available for review. You are entitled to a copy of the law describing your rights as a consumer."
Animal Defense League of Arizona web site:

Article tagged with: Puppy Lemon Law, Arizona, Dogs, Dog, Cats, Cat

Last Update: 7-17-2014 11:43am

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