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Pet Lemon Law Could Protect You This Holiday Season

November 27th, 2007 by flanews

Thousands of pets will end up as Christmas presents this year. To make sure pet stores are giving consumers a fair shake, inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will be visiting pet stores to make sure they are following the so-called pet lemon law. As Chris Casquejo tells us, the law will protect you if you end up with an unhealthy animal.


Hear it here: Pet Lemon Law Could Protect You This Holiday Season

A pug puppy may seem like the perfect gift for a loved one. But store owner Carol Hoover has a suggestion for those thinking about buying pets.

“You might want to think about getting the supplies for the animals,” she said. “And actually wait until after the holiday season to buy the animal.”

Under Florida law, cats and dogs can’t be sold until they are at least 8 weeks old.

When buying a cat or dog in Florida, look for the official veterinarian’s certificate. It tells you how old your pet is and exactly what shots it’s had.

If the pet gets sick or dies within two weeks, the seller has to pay the vet bills. Buyers can also exchange sick animals or ask for a refund. The Department of Agriculture says choose wisely.

“If you have small children, there are certain breeds of aggressive dogs you don’t want to have,” said Terence McElroy, with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “If you have a small dwelling, say a one-bedroom or studio apartment, you probably don’t want a large animal.”

Pet store owners like Carol Hoover also want to remind people to consider that pets require a lot of care and a lot of time.

“You need to take the animal’s welfare into consideration before you make this life, lifelong commitment,” she said. “It’s a very long commitment. It’s like taking on a new child.”

Parrot lovers beware. Florida’s so-called pet lemon law only applies to cats and dogs. For more information about the pet law or to make a complaint, call the Department of Agriculture at 1-800-HELP-FLA.

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