Protection of Consumers from Unscrupulous Pet Sellers

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, more than 50 percent of New York households include at least one pet.  In addition to the cost of purchasing pets, the average pet owner spends hundreds of dollars to care for them.  New York's Pet Lemon Law is aimed at ensuring the good health of cats and dogs sold in the State.

New York Law grants consumers very specific rights when they purchase dogs and cats from pet stores.  For example, consumers have the right to know the source of the dog or cat they are considering for purchase, and the history of vet treatments.  If a consumer purchases a sick dog or cat and a veterinarian certifies the animal as unfit within 14 days of a sale, the consumer has the right to a refund, exchange, or reimbursement of veterinary costs up to the cost of the pet. 

Consumers have the right to ask questions about the breeders used by pet stores and receive accurate information in return.  For example, if a breeder is a large scale breeder – commonly referred to as "puppy mills" – the consumer has the right to know.  The OAG will monitor whether pet stores are being honest and following the law and bring civil or criminal prosecutions where appropriate.