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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11779
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am in need of some help. I do not have much money, but

Customer Question

Hello, I am in need of some help. I do not have much money, but need advise. So I have raised and shown Pomeranians for almost 11 years. I went to a breeder and bought a puppy who was only 7 weeks old. He is now today around 5 months or so. He unexpectedly passed away yesterday.
I took him into the vet and they did a Necropsy, everything looked normal other than he had Hemorrhage of both lungs. The dog cost me $1200 Plus $200 for the Necropsy. The man only wanted $1200 on the dog but I Appreciated his Quality so gave him an additional $600 for the puppy. I do have any messages on Facebook from him.
The puppy had very bad, mites, tape worms and coccidea when I got him. He almost died and had to be syringe fed from the day I brought him home from him being so small, weak and the coccidosis.
He also had a 5 mm Open font on his head as well as it was open above each eye browl and a small spot on the right side of his head. The breeder has told me do not contact him on this matter and to take him to court. My Question is we did not get a contract and he claims he only gives a 7 day health guarantee but I heard in Ca there is a Lemon Law for 1 year.
My vet could not "Confirm" the Hemorrhage on the lungs indeed caused his cause of death but seen no other injuries or deformities. I do not want to pay t take him to court if I have no case and be out more money. What is your opinion thank you Renae
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

You are correct that there is a puppy lemon law. The law states in part:

122050. (a) Every breeder of dogs shall deliver to each purchaser of a dog a written disclosure containing all of the following:

(6) A record of any veterinarian treatment or medication received by the dog while in the possession of the breeder and either of the following:

(A) A statement, signed by the breeder at the time of sale, that:

(i) The dog has no known disease or illness.

(ii) The dog has no known congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the dog at the time of the sale or that is likely to adversely affect the health of the dog in the future.

(B) A record of any known disease, illness, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the dog at the time of sale, or that is likely to affect the health of the dog in the future, along with a statement signed by a veterinar***** *****censed in the State of California that authorizes the sale of the dog, recommends necessary treatment, if any, and verifies that the disease, illness, or condition does not require hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures, nor is it likely to require hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures in the future. A veterinarian statement is not required for intestinal or external parasites unless their presence makes the dog clinically ill or is likely to make the dog clinically ill. The statement shall be valid for seven days following examination of the dog by the veterinarian.

The law also states:

122070. (a) If a licensed veterinarian states in writing that within 15 days after the purchaser has taken physical possession of a dog following the sale by a breeder, the dog has become ill due to any illness or disease that existed in the dog on or before delivery of the dog to the purchaser, or, if within one year after the purchaser has taken physical possession of the dog after the sale by a breeder, a veterinar***** *****censed in this state states in writing that the dog has a congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the dog, or that requires, or is likely in the future to require, hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures, the dog shall be considered unfit for sale, and the breeder shall provide the purchaser with any of the following remedies that the purchaser elects:

(1) Return the dog to the breeder for a refund of the purchase price, plus sales tax, and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees for diagnosis and treating the dog in an amount not to exceed the original purchase price of the dog, including sales tax.

So, it sounds like you may have a very good case against the breeder. It sounds like (1) he didn't give you any information about illnesses, etc. (granted, maybe he didn't know), and (2) even if the breeder did not know of illnesses, you can still force a refund if the vet states in writing that the dog had a congenital or hereditary condition. Based on the facts (as I understood them), and the law quoted above, it sounds like you have a very good chance of winning in small claims court.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

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