Puppy Lemon Laws:
There are consumer protection laws in place in all states. Additionally, some states specifically deal with puppy sales and have “Lemon Laws” too. This page is meant to help you when looking over guarantees... and as well, inform you that even if you do not get a “guarantee”, you may still have options.
"If your option is replacement, then dog must be returned immediately to the breeder. If it is your decision to keep original puppy/dog, you will be doing so at your own expense. All Guarantees become Null and Void. "ALL SALES ARE FINAL. NO CASH REFUNDS!"
(This guarantee is not lawful in many states.)
Think carefully... You have a sick dog that you love dearly. You are expected to return this dog, turn your back on it - and receive another puppy? Why would they not allow you to keep the afflicted dog for the remainder of its days if you wanted to? What will they do with the dog returned? This is an attempt to cause you to walk away. If they can play on your love for your ill dog, they don't have to be out the money of giving away a free pup.
"All expenses incurred once you have received your puppy are the sole responsibility of you as the puppy purchaser. We do not pay veterinarian medical expenses or accept responsibility for veterinarian medical expenses."
(this is by no stretch, lawful according to some states)
Sounds reasonable - but what if your puppy arrives to you and requires medical attention? Many states REQUIRE the breeder be held financially responsible for a period of time, or up to a specific dollar amount.
"We retain the right to a second opinion: by our own personal veterinarian and if found to be of contradicting results, it is the findings, recommendations by our personal Veterinarian that will prevail."
(not lawful according to some states. they can't void guarantee based solely on their vets opinion - or have their vet over-ride yours.)
Understand that by agreeing to this, you may have just set yourself up to guarantee your guarantee will not be honored. At the very least, the breeder should allow the vets to confer and make a decision together. If a decision can not be made, then a third opinion should enter at this time. Then go with what two out of three veterinarians say. But to let them control the outcome using their own vet - don't agree to this.
"Any and all health problems that arise after 10 days from when your puppy leaves here are solely your responsibility..."
Your jaw should drop when you come across statements like this. Unfortunately, in this breeders state, the law only requires them to be responsible for the first 14 days after the puppy goes home. Most states require they stand behind a 1 year guarantee. Legitimate breeders offer at least 2 or more years.
Lemon photos by
"Current puppy in question will be replaced as follows: ...choose a replacement puppy (of equal quality/value) from our next litters subject to non reserved availability, paying the difference in price if you receive a more expensive puppy."
(Many state lemon laws say you are entitled to a refund or a pup as soon as one is available. You do not have to wait in line again for a puppy.) This breeders guarantee is again - unlawful. This is just like returning something to a retail store and being told you must wait until everyone else has made their purchases, and then if there is anything left, you can have your replacement. Never mind you have already paid for a pup and have a "defective" one.
Virginia, New York, New Jersey, California, Florida - It doesn't matter where you live, the breeder is bound by law to follow the Puppy Lemon Laws in their state. Even if they don't have specific "lemon laws", they will have consumer protection laws or Animal Sale laws that apply. So brush up on their states current laws and either discuss it with them, or compare to their written contract. The bottom line here is that you do have rights and it certainly helps if your breeder is aware of these rights.