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Sebring, FL  33875
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Pet Law 828.29 Dogs and cats transported or offered for sale; health requirements; consumer guarantee.

(Form: DACS-09214 - Pet Law Complaint Form)
(1)(a) For each dog transported into the state for sale, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by
this section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state of
origin and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate
of veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered no more than 30
days and no less than 14 days before the dog's entry into the state. The official certificate of veterinary
inspection certifying compliance with this section must accompany each dog transported into the state
for sale.

(b) For each dog offered for sale within the state, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this
section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state and
accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate of
veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered before the dog is
offered for sale in the state, unless the licensed, accredited veterinarian certifies on the official
certificate of veterinary inspection that to inoculate or deworm the dog is not in the best medical interest
of the dog, in which case the vaccine or anthelmintic may not be administered to that particular dog.
Each dog must receive vaccines and anthelmintics against the following diseases and internal parasites:

1. Canine distemper. 2. Leptospirosis.3. Bordetella (by intranasal inoculation or by an alternative method
of administration if deemed necessary by the attending veterinarian and noted on the health certificate,
which must be administered in this state once before sale). 4. Parainfluenza. 5. Hepatitis. 6. Canine
parvo. 7. Rabies, provided the dog is over 3 months of age and the inoculation is administered by a
licensed veterinarian. 8. Roundworms. 9. Hookworms. If the dog is under 4 months of age, the tests,
vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered no more than 21 days before
sale within the state. If the dog is 4 months of age or older, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics
required by this section must be administered at or after 3 months of age, but no more than 1 year before
sale within the state.

(2)(a) For each cat transported into the state for sale, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by
this section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state of
origin and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate
of veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered no more than 30
days and no less than 14 days before the cat's entry into the state. The official certificate of veterinary
inspection certifying compliance with this section must accompany each cat transported into the state
for sale.

(b) For each cat offered for sale within the state, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this
section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state and
accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate of
veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered before the cat is
offered for sale in the state, unless the licensed, accredited veterinarian certifies on the official
certificate of veterinary inspection that to inoculate or deworm the cat is not in the best medical interest
of the cat, in which case the vaccine or anthelmintic may not be administered to that particular cat. Each
cat must receive vaccines and anthelmintics against the following diseases and internal parasites:

1. Panleukopenia. 2. Feline viral rhinotracheitis. 3. Calici virus. 4. Rabies, if the cat is over 3 months of
age and the inoculation is administered by a licensed veterinarian. 5. Hookworms. 6. Roundworms.

If the cat is under 4 months of age, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must
be administered no more than 21 days before sale within the state. If the cat is 4 months of age or older,
the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered at or after 3 months
of age, but no more than 1 year before sale within the state.

(3)(a) Each dog or cat subject to subsection (1) or subsection (2) must be accompanied by a current
official certificate of veterinary inspection at all times while being offered for sale within the state. The
examining veterinarian must retain one copy of the official certificate of veterinary inspection on file for
at least 1 year after the date of examination. At the time of sale of the animal, one copy of the official
certificate of veterinary inspection must be given to the buyer. The seller must retain one copy of the
official certificate of veterinary inspection on record for at least 1 year after the date of sale.

(b) The term "official certificate of veterinary inspection" means a legible certificate of veterinary
inspection signed by the examining veterinarian licensed by the state of origin and accredited by the
United States Department of Agriculture, that shows the age, sex, breed, color, and health record of the
dog or cat, the printed or typed names and addresses of the person or business from whom the animal
was obtained, the consignor or seller, the consignee or purchaser, and the examining veterinarian, and
the veterinarian's license number. The official certificate of veterinary inspection must list all vaccines
and deworming medications administered to the dog or cat, including the manufacturer, vaccine, type, lot
number, expiration date, and the dates of administration thereof, and must state that the examining
veterinarian warrants that, to the best of his or her knowledge, the animal has no sign of contagious or
infectious diseases and has no evidence of internal or external parasites, including coccidiosis and ear
mites, but excluding fleas and ticks. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall supply
the official intrastate certificate of veterinary inspection required by this section at cost.

(c) The examination of each dog and cat by a veterinarian must take place no more than 30 days before
the sale within the state. The examination must include, but not be limited to, a fecal test to determine if
the dog or cat is free of internal parasites, including hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and
whipworms. If the examination warrants, the dog or cat must be treated with a specific anthelmintic. In
the absence of a definitive parasitic diagnosis, each dog or cat must be given a broad spectrum
anthelmintic. Each dog over 6 months of age must also be tested for heartworms. Each cat must also be
tested for feline leukemia before being offered for sale in the state. All of these tests must be performed
by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, and the results of the tests must be listed on the
official certificate of veterinary inspection.

(d) All dogs and cats offered for sale and copies of certificates held by the seller and veterinarian are
subject to inspection by any agent of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, any agent of
the United States Department of Agriculture, any law enforcement officer, or any agent appointed under s.
828.03.

(4) A person may not transport into the state for sale or offer for sale within the state any dog or cat that
is less than 8 weeks of age.

(5) If, within 14 days following the sale by a pet dealer of an animal subject to this section, a licensed
veterinarian of the consumer's choosing certifies that, at the time of the sale, the animal was unfit for
purchase due to illness or disease, the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease, or
the presence of internal or external parasites, excluding fleas and ticks; or if, within 1 year following the
sale of an animal subject to this section, a licensed veterinarian of the consumer's choosing certifies
such animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary disorder which adversely affects
the health of the animal; or if, within 1 year following the sale of an animal subject to this section, the
breed, sex, or health of such animal is found to have been misrepresented to the consumer, 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 the sales tax, and
reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's examination and
certification that the dog or cat is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section and directly related to
necessary emergency services and treatment undertaken to relieve suffering;

(b) The right to return the animal and receive an exchange dog or cat of the consumer's choice of
equivalent value, and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's
examination and certification that the dog or cat is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section and
directly related to necessary emergency services and treatment undertaken to relieve suffering; or

(c) The right to retain the animal and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs for
necessary services and treatment related to the attempt to cure or curing of the dog or cat.

Reimbursement for veterinary costs may not exceed the purchase price of the animal. The cost of
veterinary services is reasonable if comparable to the cost of similar services rendered by other licensed
veterinarians in proximity to the treating veterinarian and the services rendered are appropriate for the
certification by the veterinarian.

(6) A consumer may sign a waiver relinquishing his or her right to return the dog or cat for congenital or
hereditary disorders. In the case of such waiver, the consumer has 48 normal business hours, excluding
weekends and holidays, in which to have the animal examined by a licensed veterinarian of the
consumer's choosing. If the veterinarian certifies that, at the time of sale, the dog or cat was unfit for
purchase due to a congenital or hereditary disorder, the pet dealer must 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, but
excluding the veterinary costs related to the certification that the dog or cat is unfit; or

(b) The right to return the animal and receive an exchange dog or cat of the consumer's choice of
equivalent value, but not a refund of the veterinary costs related to the certification that the dog or cat is
unfit.

(7) A pet dealer may specifically state at the time of sale, in writing to the consumer, the presence of
specific congenital or hereditary disorders, in which case the consumer has no right to any refund or
exchange for those disorders.

(8) The refund or exchange required by subsection (5) or subsection (6) shall be made by the pet dealer
not later than 10 business days following receipt of a signed veterinary certification as required in
subsection (5) or subsection (6). The consumer must notify the pet dealer within 2 business days after
the veterinarian's determination that the animal is unfit. The written certification of unfitness must be
presented to the pet dealer not later than 3 business days following receipt thereof by the consumer.

(9) An animal may not be determined unfit for sale on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted
after the consumer takes possession of the animal. A veterinary finding of intestinal or external parasites
is not grounds for declaring a dog or cat unfit for sale unless the animal is clinically ill because of that
condition.

(10) If a pet dealer wishes to contest a demand for veterinary expenses, refund, or exchange made by a
consumer under this section, the dealer may require the consumer to produce the animal for examination
by a licensed veterinarian designated by the dealer. Upon such examination, if the consumer and the
dealer are unable to reach an agreement that constitutes one of the options set forth in subsection (5) or
subsection (6) within 10 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 reimbursement
of veterinary expenses, refund, or exchange.

(11) This section does not in any way limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a
consumer under any other law.

(12) Every pet dealer who sells an animal to a consumer must provide the consumer at the time of sale
with a written notice, printed or typed, which reads as follows: It is the consumer's right, pursuant to
section 828.29, Florida Statutes, to receive a certificate of veterinary inspection with each dog or cat
purchased from a pet dealer. Such certificate shall list all vaccines and deworming medications
administered to the animal and shall state that the animal has been examined by a Florida-licensed
veterinarian who certifies that, to the best of the veterinarian's knowledge, the animal was found to have
been healthy at the time of the veterinary examination. In the event that the consumer purchases the
animal and finds it to have been unfit for purchase as provided in section 828.29(5), Florida Statutes, the
consumer must notify the pet dealer within 2 business days of the veterinarian's determination that the
animal was unfit. The consumer has the right to retain, return, or exchange the animal and receive
reimbursement for certain related veterinary services rendered to the animal, subject to the right of the
dealer to have the animal examined by another veterinarian.

(13) For the purposes of subsections (5)-(12) and (16), the term "pet dealer" means any person, firm,
partnership, corporation, or other association which, in the ordinary course of business, engages in the
sale of more than two litters, or 20 dogs or cats, per year, whichever is greater, to the public. This
definition includes breeders of animals who sell such animals directly to a consumer.

(14) The state attorney may bring an action to enjoin any violator of this section or s. 828.12 or s. 828.13
from being a pet dealer.

(15) County-operated or city-operated animal control agencies and registered nonprofit humane
organizations are exempt from this section.

(16) A pet dealer may not knowingly misrepresent the breed, sex, or health of any dog or cat offered for
sale within the state.

(17) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person who violates any provision of this section
commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 1, ch. 81-234; s. 1, ch. 90-154; s. 23, ch. 90-321; s. 9, ch. 91-294; s. 8, ch. 93-13; s. 1290, ch.
97-102.
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