The Connecticut General Assembly has passed S.B. 499Â which expands the state’s pet lemon law. GovernorÂ M. Jodi RellÂ is expected to sign the measure.
The final version amends to Sec. 501. Section 22-344b to provide consumers with recourse if they purchase a dog or cat from a pet shop that is found within 6 months to have a congenital abnormality that does or will affect the health of the animal.Â Â Â
Under current law consumers have a remedy for animals that are ill or die from an illness they had at the time of sale.Â Consumers now have 20 days instead of 15 to bring a claim withe the pet store.Â
Consumers can receive a full refund or replacement upon return of the animal, if alive,Â andÂ with a certificate from a veterinarian of their choosing that the dog or cat had the illness at the time of the sale or suffers or will suffer from a congenital abnormality.
Consumers can receive reimbursement for costs of veterinary care is increasedÂ from $200 up to $500.Â Â
The new law would not apply to cats that are spayed/neutered prior to sale.
Sec. 502 is also amended to require a certificate of origin for all dogs sold or offered for sale by a pet shop. The certificate of origin must identify the name and address of the breeder and broker or seller.Â This information must be posted "in a conspicuous manner not more than ten feet from the location where such dog is displayed for sale". Copies must be given to the purchaser and filed with theÂ Department of Agriculture.
Currently, pet stores must have large signs posted with identifying and other information about the dog and also a number where they can call to make complaints with the Dept. of Agriculture.
The new law bars pet shops from buying dogs from anyone other than USDA or state licensed breeders or brokers.
Violators of the new law face fines up to $100 or 30 days in jail,Â or both, for each violation. Each day a pet shop licensee is in violationÂ shall constitute a separate offense.