Several clients have called us recently with questions about their rights and options when their new puppy is sick. Thankfully, Connecticut is one of 22 states with a Pet Lemon Law. The law applies to cats and dogs that are purchased from a pet shop.
If your new puppy or kitten (or dog or cat) was sick at the time of purchase, or if the new pet was born with a congential condition, the pet shop is required to pay for vet bills or medications. The statute limits the shop's responsibility to the amount paid for the pet or $500, whichever is more. So, if a pet cost $1,500 and the vet bill is $2,000, the pet shop is responsible for only the $1,500 cost. But, if the pet cost only $300, the pet shop would be responsible to pay $500 of the costs.
Pet owners also have the right to a refund or a replacement pet at their option.
To make a claim, pet owners should ask their vet for a letter certifying that the pet was sick at the time of purchase or that the pet has a congenital condition that made the veterinary services necessary.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture can help pet owners if a pet shop refuses to provide a consumer with a refund.