Pet Lemon Law

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Hopeful eyes and wagging tails greeted Eleanor Rogers Tuesday, as she shopped for a new pet. As Eleanor played with the puppies, inspectors from the Florida Department and Agriculture and Consumer services combed through the vaccination records of each dog and cat in the store.

Florida’s pet lemon law requires sellers to provide the buyers documented proof of a dog or cat’s medical history. The documents must be updated by a veterinarian every 30 days.

“The seller keeps a copy for one year after sell. The veterinarian is supposed to keep a copy for one year after his exam, and the purchaser gets the original copy,” said Dr. Sam Lamb, with he department.

Puppies and kittens must be at least eight weeks old before they can be sold, of the 275 pet store inspections conducted by the state last year, only four stores were in violation.

But be wary bird lovers, because the state’s pet lemon law only applies to dogs and cats. But no matter what animal piques your interest this holiday season, pet store owner Carol Hoover of Carol’s Critters has some advice before you give a pet as a gift.

“You definitely need not to surprise someone with sort of thing. It needs to be a well though out choice that ya’ll make together as a family,” said Hoover.

And if anyone buys a cat or dog that gets sick or dies within two weeks, in Florida, they’re entitled to a refund and a reimbursement of medical bills. To report a violation of the state’s pet lemon law call 1-800-HELPFLA ; 1-800-435-7352 ; or (850) 410-0900.

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  • by Pete Zahut on Dec 15, 2010 at 05:33 AM
    Who has a "pet" lemon? What do you feed it??? All kidding aside - if you want a pet, go to an animal shelter and adopt!!!!!!
  • by Pete Zahut Location: Stacy on Dec 15, 2010 at 03:25 AM
    Never buy a pet from a pet store! Any breeder that would sell their animals to a pet store is not reputable and likely a puppy mill. Reputable breeders will do a home visit to make sure their animals are going to a safe and good home. Choose a breeder that does health testing above and beyond what your regular vet can do such as screening for juvenile cataracts, deafness, heart disease, etc on both parents of the dog and the puppy. You can find out more information on what a specific breed recommends for additional health screenings at Or better yet, rescue! There are hundreds of "designer dogs" at your local animal shelter.
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