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State Investigators Probe Pet Stores

December 9th, 2008 by flanews

State inspectors are visiting pet shops across Florida to catch people who are selling sick cats and dogs. The Florida Department of Consumers Services ordered the random checks to find out if pet store owners are complying with the states pet lemon law. As Whitney Ray tells us, there are a few things you can look for to make sure you dont buy a sick puppy.

Hear it Here: Pet Checks

Veshon Boyles is Christmas shopping for his two year old daughter. He wants to make sure her first puppy can run with the pack.

You want to make sure its healthy, said Veshon.

Concerned parents arent the only ones keeping their eyes peeled for sick pets. This month state inspectors are visiting pet stores and asking customers to look for signs of disease.

Look at the conditions that the animals are in. Make sure it doesnt have any obviously runny noses or eyes or perhaps Diarrhea, said Dr. Samuel Lamb with the Department of Agriculture.

Inspectors are also checking to see if the puppies and kittens are at least eight weeks old. When you buy a dog or cat, the seller is required by Florida law to give you a certificate of health. Pet store owner Carol Hoover said random checks help keep store owners honest.

Sometimes things can slip and you can forget to take them back in and get new check ups. So I think its a great idea to keep everybody in check, Hoover said.

So whether youre just window shopping or ready to buy, be prepared to check the paperwork to make sure you dont end up with a sick puppy. State law required pet store owners to refund customers who buy a dog or cat and find out from a veterinarian that the animal is sick. But the pet has to be returned with in 14 days of the purchase.

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