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Your email interaction can most certainly be considered a contract.
In addition your oral discussions can too be considered part of the agreement.
Though the fee may be "non-refundable" the breeder cannot cancel the transaction and claim the fee is non refundable at the very least it would be a breach of the agreement you had and could even be considered fraud
In this situation a concept called specific performance (i.e. buyer can compel a seller to deliver the specific goods the buyer bargained for) can be used. Therefore you will be in your right to ask a court with jurisdiction over the breeder to compel delivery of the specific puppy in question.
As far damages if you obtain a different puppy, that would be a more difficult claim to make but you can certainly make it and see if the court agrees with you.
there are attorneys that practice animal law, you can inquire with the local bar association. To compel the breeder to deliver you the puppy, you would need to sue in her home state of VT.
I trust this answered all your questions
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I do not think she will hold the deposit if the does not perform. As I understand she wants to send the money back to me.
I am not questioning the deposit being refundable or non refundable for me. If I cancel, then it is non-refundable, I understand that.
Does it work both ways though? Does this deposit bind her? Or she just can change her mind and give the deposit back to me and consider the deal done? Does she have a right to do that?
Is there anything in the law that she can use to send back the deposit and not deliver the dog just because she claims I was rude?
In a month the puppy will not fit the size kennel we agreed on had it been sent now. If she waits longer I will be paying higher fees for the kennel and airfare. Will I be entitled to the difference because of her sending the puppy later then the time agreed upon?
Texas law does not have specific statues about transacting business with breeders. In the eyes of the law animals are personal property.
There are two kinds of properties
ordinary and unique. Ordinary is something that is replaceable. Unique is something that is not replaceable (such as art, real estate and to some degree puppies because every puppy is unqiue)
with unique properties you can ask for "specific performance" which means that you can ask a court to compel the seller to enter into the transaction and have her sell you the puppy you agreed on
as noted you would have to do it in VT because that is the only court that has personal jurisdiction over her
you best recourse now is either come to an agreement with her or sue her in VT. You would be able to seek damages (such as higher shipping cost) that resulted from her breach
Ok, thank you. How about the court costs, legal fees? Trips to VT?
you would be able to ask for those and convince the court that they are reasonable.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX read on specific performance. I remember it from Webster;s Business Law book from college. Have a nice evening.
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