Monday, May 14, 2012

Connecticut’s “Pet Lemon Law”

Connecticut is a pet-friendly state. In addition to allowing owners of pets to create “pet trusts” to take care of pets if an owner dies, Connecticut also has a “pet lemon law.”  Under the law (C.G.S. § 22-344b), if you purchase a dog or cat from a pet store and that pet becomes ill or dies within 20 days from an illness that it had at the time of sale (but the owner was unaware of), the store is required to replace the dog or cat or refund in full the purchase price.  This protection for owners is extended to situations when, during the first six months after purchase, the owner discovers that the dog or cat has a congenital defect that has or will adversely affect the dog or cat’s health.  In such a case the pet store is again required to replace the animal or refund the purchase price.  In both cases the law mandates that the pet store reimburse the owner for pet care costs, such as medication and veterinarian services, up to $500.  The law requires, however, that the owner seek treatment of the ill pet with a licensed veterinarian.
Recently, the Connecticut Senate passed a bill that would amend the law to close the “love loophole,” which occurred when some pet stores required the owner to return the ill dog or cat before the store would pay for veterinarian bills.  The bill, which is pending before the governor for his signature, would allow owners to seek reimbursement of the pet’s medical fees without having to return the pet, thereby protecting owners who have grown to love their pet.
Questions or Comments? Contact Jared Cantor.