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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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