1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. General Business
  4. Article 35-D: Sale of Dogs and Cats


Section 753 Sale of animal

General Business (GBS)

1. If, within fourteen business days following the sale of an animal subject to this article or receipt of the written notice required by section seven hundred fifty-four of this article, whichever occurred last, a veterinarian of the consumer's choosing, licensed by a state certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to illness or the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease, or if, within one hundred eighty calendar days following such sale or receipt, whichever occurred last, a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital malformation which adversely affects the health of the animal, the pet dealer shall afford the consumer the right to choose one of the following options:

  (a) The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax and reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section;

  (b) The right to return the animal and to receive an exchange animal of the consumer's choice of equivalent value and reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section; or

  (c) The right to retain the animal and to receive reimbursement from a pet dealer for veterinary services from a licensed veterinarian of the consumer's choosing, for the purpose of curing or attempting to cure the animal. The reasonable value of reimbursable services rendered to cure or attempting to cure the animal shall not exceed the purchase price of the animal. The value of such services is reasonable if comparable to the value of similar services rendered by other licensed veterinarians in proximity to the treating veterinarian. Such reimbursement shall not include the costs of initial veterinary examination fees and diagnostic fees not directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section.

  The commissioner by regulations shall prescribe a form for, and the content of, the certification that an animal is unfit for purchase, which shall be provided by an examining veterinarian to a consumer upon the examination of an animal which is subject to the provisions of this section. Such form shall include, but not be limited to, information which identifies the type of animal, the owner, the date and diagnosis of the animal, the treatment recommended if any, and an estimate or the actual cost of such treatment. Such form shall also include the notice prescribed in section seven hundred fifty-four of this article.

  The commissioner by regulations shall prescribe information which shall be provided in writing by the pet dealer to the consumer upon the sale of the animal. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, a description, including breed of the animal, the date of purchase, the name, address and telephone number of the consumer, and the amount of the purchase. The pet dealer shall certify such information by signing the document in which it is contained.

  2. The refund and/or reimbursement required by subdivision one of this section shall be made by the pet dealer not later than ten business days following receipt of a signed veterinary certification as herein required. Such certification shall be presented to the pet dealer not later than three business days following receipt thereof by the consumer.

  2-a. Every pet dealer who sells an animal required to be vaccinated against rabies, pursuant to section twenty-one hundred forty-one of the public health law, to a consumer shall provide the consumer at point of sale with a written notice, provided by the department of health, summarizing rabies immunization requirements.

  3. A veterinary finding of intestinal parasites shall not be grounds for declaring the animal unfit for sale unless the animal is clinically ill due to such condition. An animal may not be found unfit for sale on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted subsequent to the consumer taking possession thereof.

  4. In the event that a pet dealer wishes to contest a demand for refund, exchange or reimbursement made by a consumer pursuant to this section, such dealer shall have the right to require the consumer to produce the animal for examination by a licensed veterinarian designated by such dealer. Upon such examination, if the consumer and the dealer are unable to reach an agreement which constitutes one of the options set forth in subdivision one of this section within ten business days following receipt of the animal for such examination, the consumer may initiate an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover or obtain such refund, exchange and/or reimbursement.

  5. Nothing in this section shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.