I am assuming that the dogs were not accompanied with an official veterinarian certificate either.
Under Florida law, you have the right to reimbursement of the veterinarian costs up to the price of the dog. In order to obtain this, you must have the veterinarian sign a statutory statement of unfitness (that the dog was ill when brought into the state).
Under the law, the breeder has the right to have a vet inspect the dog as well.
The problem will be that if the breeder does not agree to reimburse you the vet expenses up to the cost of the dog, then you would have to sue the breeder. Your friend is not a dealer and the law does not apply to your friend. The court may find that the breeder is not under Florida jurisdiction (did the breeder solicit the dog to you, or is this just someone that your friend knew who does not regularly sell in Florida?). The court could also find that your friend, who was acting as broker, actually disqualified the transaction under Florida law. I tell you this because I want you to understand the issues going into this kind of case.
You could assert that you friend was acting as the agent for the Texas breeder, and sue both of them in small claims
court. That is going to be your best route if you end up having to sue.
If you sue, you would simply state that they violated Florida Statute 828.29 in that (1) they sold a dog in Florida without a veterinarian certificate; (2) they misrepresented the health of the dog; and (3) the dog was in an unfit condition as certified by a Florida licensed veterinarian. Then you would show your vet bills and ask for payment. The court should award you with a judgment for payment.
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