AN ACT

 

1Amending the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387), 
2entitled "An act prohibiting unfair methods of competition 
3and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of 
4any trade or commerce, giving the Attorney General and 
5District Attorneys certain powers and duties and providing 
6penalties," further providing for dog purchaser protection.

7The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
8hereby enacts as follows:

9Section 1. Section 9.3(a)(2), (b), (c), (d) and (i) of the 
10act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair 
11Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, reenacted and 
12amended November 24, 1976 (P.L.1166, No.260) and added June 25, 
131997 (P.L.287, No.27), are amended and the section is amended by 
14adding <-a subsection subsections to read:

15Section 9.3. Dog Purchaser Protection.--(a) * * *

16(2) (i) [A] Except as provided under subsection (b.2)(3) of 
17this section, a health certificate issued by a veterinarian 
18shall certify the dog sold by the seller to be apparently free
 

1of any contagious or infectious illness and apparently free from 
2any defect which is congenital or hereditary and diagnosable 
3with reasonable accuracy and does not appear to be clinically 
4ill from parasitic infestation at the time of the physical 
5examination. The health certificate shall include the name, 
6address and signature of the veterinarian and the date the dog 
7was examined.

8(ii) [A] Except as provided under subsection (b.2)(3) of 
9this section, a guarantee of good health issued by the seller, 
10and dated and signed by the seller and the purchaser on the date 
11of the sale, warranting that the dog being sold is apparently 
12free of and does not exhibit any signs of any contagious or 
13infectious disease, is apparently free from and does not exhibit 
14any signs of any defect which is congenital or hereditary; and 
15does not exhibit any signs of being clinically ill or exhibit 
16any signs of a parasitic infestation on the date of the sale. 
17The guarantee of good health shall clearly state in bold type:

18THIS GUARANTEE DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THIS DOG HAS BEEN
19EXAMINED BY A VETERINARIAN. THE PURCHASER IS ENCOURAGED
20TO HAVE THIS DOG EXAMINED BY A VETERINARIAN AS SOON AFTER
21PURCHASE AS IS FEASIBLE.

22The seller shall also verbally state these facts to the
23purchaser.

<-24(a.1) A releasing agency shall provide a new owner of a dog
25with a health record for the dog at the time of adoption. The 
26health record supplied by the releasing agency shall include the 
27following:

28(1) The dog's breed. If the breed is unknown or mixed, the
29health record shall so indicate.

30(2) The dog's approximate age, if known.

1(3) The dog's gender.

2(4) The dog's color and markings.

3(5) A list of all vaccinations, if known, administered to
4the dog, the date and type of vaccinations and the name of the
5person who administered them, if known, up to the date of
6adoption.

7(6) A record of any known disease, illness or condition with
8which the dog is or has been afflicted at the time of the
9adoption.

10(7) A record of any veterinary treatment or medication
11received by the dog while in possession of the releasing agency
12to treat any disease, illness or condition.

13(8) The date, dosage and type of any parasitical medicine,
14if known, that was administered to the dog.

15(9) The name, address and signature of an authorized person
16at the releasing agency, along with a statement affirming all of
17the information provided in this subsection is true to the best
18of the releasing agency's knowledge and belief.

19(b) If, within [ten] fourteen days after the date of
20purchase, a dog purchased from a seller is determined, through
21physical examination, diagnostic tests or necropsy by a
22veterinarian, to be clinically ill or [dies] to have died from
23any contagious or infectious illness or any parasitic illness
24which renders it unfit for purchase [or results in its death],
25the purchaser may exercise one of the following options:

26(1) Return the dog to the seller for a complete refund of
27the purchase price, not including the sales tax.

28(2) Return the dog to the seller for a replacement dog of
29equal value of the purchaser's choice, providing a replacement
30dog is available.

1(3) Retain the dog and be entitled to receive reimbursement
2from the seller for reasonable veterinary fees incurred in
3curing [or], attempting to cure or treating the affected dog,
4subject to the limitation that the seller's liability for
5reimbursement shall not exceed the purchase price, not including
6sales tax, of the dog. This clause shall apply only if the
7purchaser's veterinarian determines the dog's illness can be
8treated [and corrected] by procedures that are appropriate and
9customary. The value of these services is considered reasonable
10if comparable to the value of similar services rendered by other
11licensed veterinarians in reasonable proximity to the treating
12veterinarian. Reimbursement shall not include the costs of the
13initial veterinary examination fee and diagnostic or treatment
14fees not directly related to the veterinarian's certification
15that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section.
16[If, however, the purchaser's veterinarian determines the dog's
17illness is incurable, only the options in clauses (1) and (2) of
18this subsection shall apply.

19For the purposes of this subsection, veterinary findings of
20intestinal and external parasites shall not be grounds for
21declaring the dog unfit for purchase unless the dog is
22clinically ill or dies due to that condition. A dog shall not be
23found unfit for purchase on account of injury sustained or
24illness most likely contracted subsequent to the date of sale.]

25(b.1) (1) If, within [thirty] ninety days after the date of 
26purchase, a dog purchased from a seller is [certified] 
27determined, through physical examination, diagnostic tests or 
28necropsy by a veterinarian [that the dog has or] to have a 
29defect or to have died from a defect which is congenital or 
30hereditary and which [adversely affects or affected the health
 

1of the animal] renders it unfit for purchase, the purchaser may 
2exercise one of the options as provided in [clauses (1), (2) and 
3(3) of this subsection.] subsection (b) of this section.

4(2) Remedies available under [clauses (1), (2) and (3) of 
5this] subsection (b) of this section shall also apply to 
6replacement dogs.

7(b.2) (1) A dog shall not be found unfit for purchase for
8the purposes of subsection (b) of this section because of
9veterinary findings of intestinal or external parasites unless
10the dog is clinically ill or dies due to the condition.

11(2) A dog shall not be found unfit for purchase on account
12of injury sustained or illness most likely contracted subsequent
13to the date of sale.

14(3) A dog shall not be found unfit for purchase because of a
15health problem which, in addition to a health certificate or
16guarantee of good health required under subsection (a) of this
17section, is separately disclosed by the seller in writing at the
18time of sale. Such disclosure shall be signed by both the seller
19and the purchaser at the time of sale and shall be documented in
20the health certificate or guarantee of good health.

21(c) A veterinarian's certification of illness, congenital or
22hereditary defects or death shall be necessary for a refund or
23replacement or to receive reimbursement for veterinary costs if
24the dog is retained by the purchaser and treated for illness or
25congenital or hereditary defect as provided in this section. The
26veterinarian's certification shall be supplied at the
27purchaser's expense. The veterinarian's certification shall
28state the following information:

29(1) The purchaser's name and address.

30(2) The date the dog was examined.

1(3) The breed and age of the dog.

2(4) (i) That the veterinarian examined the dog.

3(ii) That the dog has or had an illness as described in
4subsection (b) of this section or a defect as described in
5subsection (b) of this section which renders it unfit for
6purchase or which resulted in its death.

7(iii) The precise findings of the examination, diagnostic
8tests or necropsy.

9(5) The treatment recommended, if any, and an estimate or
10the actual cost of the treatment should the purchaser choose to
11retain the dog and seek reimbursement for veterinary fees to
12cure or attempt to cure the dog.

13(6) The veterinarian's name, address, telephone number and
14signature.

15Within [two] five business days of a veterinary examination
16which certifies illness, defect or death, the purchaser shall
17notify the seller of the name, address and telephone number of
18the examining veterinarian. Failure to notify the seller or to
19carry out the recommended treatment prescribed by the examining
20veterinarian who made the initial diagnosis until a remedy as
21provided for in subsection (b) of this section is agreed upon
22shall result in the purchaser's forfeiture of rights under this
23section. [Subsection (b) of this section shall not apply where a
24seller who has provided a health certificate issued by a
25veterinarian discloses in writing at the time of sale the health
26problem for which the buyer later seeks to return the dog. Such
27disclosures shall be signed by both the seller and purchaser.
28Where the seller has provided a guarantee of good health,
29subsection (b) of this section shall apply regardless of whether
30the seller disclosed the health problem at the time of sale.]

1(d) The refund or reimbursement required by this section
2shall be made by the seller not later than fourteen days
3following receipt of the veterinarian's certification that the
4dog is unfit for purchase or has died from a condition defined
5as unfit for purchase in this section. The certification shall
6be presented to the seller not later than [five] seven days
7following receipt thereof by the purchaser.

8* * *

9(i) As used in this section:

<-10"Adopt" or "adoption" means the transfer of ownership of a
11dog from a releasing agency to a new owner.

12"New owner" means a person who adopts a dog from a releasing
13agency.

14"Releasing agency" means a releasing agency as defined under 
15section 901-A of the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225), 
16known as the "Dog Law."

17"Seller" means a kennel, pet shop operator or other 
18individual who sells dogs to the public and who owns or operates 
19a kennel or pet shop which is required to be licensed by the 
20Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture or the United States 
21Department of Agriculture. The term shall not include nonprofit 
22kennels as defined under the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, 
23No.225), known as the "Dog Law."

24"Unfit for purchase" means any disease, deformity, injury, 
25physical condition, illness or any defect which is congenital or 
26hereditary and which [severely affects] has a significant 
27adverse effect on the health of the animal or which was 
28manifest, capable of diagnosis or likely to have been contracted 
29on or before the sale and delivery of the animal to the 
30consumer.

1"Veterinarian" means an individual licensed under the laws of 
2this Commonwealth or any other state to practice veterinary 
3medicine and surgery.

4Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

 

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