Title 20: Internal Security and Public Safety
Chapter 199: SALE OF DOGS AND CATS
20 V.S.A. § 4302. Sale of an animal; restitution
§ 4302. Sale of an animal; restitution
(a) If, within seven days following the sale of an animal, a veterinarian of the consumer's choosing certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase due to illness or the presence of signs of contagious or infectious disease, or within one year the veterinarian certifies the existence of congenital malformation or hereditary disease, the consumer may act under subdivision (1) of this subsection, or if mutually agreed upon, under subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection. The consumer may have:
(1) the right to return the animal and receive a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, and reasonable veterinary fees related to certification under this section. A veterinary finding of intestinal parasites is not grounds for declaring an animal unfit, nor is an injury or illness sustained subsequent to the consumer taking possession of an animal;
(2) the right to return the animal and receive an exchange animal of the consumer's choice of equivalent value, and reasonable veterinary costs related to certification under this subsection;
(3) the right to retain the animal and receive reimbursement from the pet dealer for reasonable veterinary service for the purpose of curing or attempting to cure the animal. In no case shall this service exceed the purchase price of the animal. Value of service is reasonable if it compares to similar service rendered by other veterinarians in the area, but in no case may it cover costs not directly related to the certification of unfitness.
(b) The commissioner shall prescribe a form for and the content of the certificate to be used under subsection (a) of this section. The form shall include, but not be limited to, an identification of the type of animal, the owner, date and diagnosis, the treatment recommended, if any, and an estimated cost of the treatment. The form shall also include notice of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Every pet dealer who sells an animal to a consumer shall provide the consumer at the time of sale with the written form prescribed by the commissioner. The notice may be included in a written contract, an animal history certificate or other separate document.
(d) The commissioner shall prescribe by rule other information which shall be provided in writing by the pet dealer to the consumer at the time of sale. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the animal, including breed and date of purchase, the name, address and telephone number of the consumer and the purchase price. Certification of this document occurs when signed by the pet dealer.
(e) Refund or reimbursement required under subsection (a) of this section shall be made within ten business days following receipt of the signed veterinary certification. The certification shall be presented to the pet dealer within three business days by the consumer. (Added 1989, No. 270 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)