Dogs can be our dearest friends. That’s why the unwitting purchase of an unhealthy pet can be so devastating. In an effort to ensure that consumers buying a dog in Pennsylvania know their new pet has a clean bill of health, Pennsylvania’s dog sellers and breeders must now post a visible notice that informs consumers of their rights under the state’s Dog Purchaser Protection Act, also known as the “Puppy Lemon Law”. Sellers and breeders must also provide a written copy of the consumer’s rights at the time of the sale.
1. A seller shall provide you with a health record for the dog at the time of sale. The health record must contain information as required by the Law.
2. The seller shall provide a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within 21 days prior to the date of sale OR a guarantee of good health issued and signed by the seller. The health certificate and the guarantee of good health must contain information as required by the Law.
3. To preserve your rights under the Law, you must take your newly purchased dog to a licensed veterinarian for examination within 10 days of purchase. If a veterinarian determines, within 10 days of purchase, that your dog is clinically ill or has died from an injury sustained or illness likely to have been contracted on or before the date of sale and delivery, you have the following options:
(a) Return the dog for a complete refund; (b) Return the dog for a replacement dog of equal value; OR (c) Retain the dog and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees, not exceeding the purchase price. These options do not apply where a seller, who has provided a health certificate issued by a veterinarian, discloses in writing at the time of sale the health problem for which the buyer later seeks to return the dog.
4. If, within 30 days of purchase, a licensed veterinarian determines that your dog has a congenital or hereditary defect which adversely affects the animal’s health or that your dog died from a congenital or hereditary defect, you have the same options as outlined in Section 3 (above).
5. Within 2 business days of a veterinarian’s certification of your dog’s illness, defect or death, you must notify the seller of the name, address and telephone number of the examining veterinarian. Failure to notify the seller within 2 business days will result in forfeiture of rights.
6. Refunds or reimbursements shall be made no later than 14 days after the seller receives the veterinarian certification. Veterinarian certification shall be presented to the seller not later than 5 days after you receive it.
7. Registerable Dogs – If the seller does not provide within 120 days all documentation to effect registration, you may exercise one of the following options:
(a) Return the dog and receive a full refund of the purchase price; OR (b) Retain the dog and receive a 50% refund of the purchase price.
8. If register able, the seller shall provide at the time of sale: the breeder’s name and address, the name and registration number of the dam and sire, and the name and address of the pedigree registry organization where the dam and sire are registered.