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Senate Bill 3058

Senate Bill sb3058

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058

    By Senator Aronberg





    27-1021B-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to the purchase of dogs and

  3         cats; amending s. 828.29, F.S.; providing

  4         definitions; requiring that any cat or dog

  5         offered for sale be accompanied by an

  6         animal-purchase disclosure; defining the term

  7         "animal-purchase disclosure"; prohibiting a pet

  8         dealer from possessing a dog or cat younger

  9         than a certain age; prohibiting a pet dealer

10         from refusing to reimburse veterinary costs

11         under certain circumstances; providing that

12         proper veterinary care of an animal returned

13         due to illness or disease may include

14         euthanasia; limiting reimbursement for

15         veterinary costs; deleting a provision

16         authorizing a purchaser to waive his or her

17         right to return a dog or cat for a congenital

18         or hereditary disorder; extending the period

19         during which a purchaser may notify the pet

20         dealer of a veterinarian's determination that

21         an animal is unfit; requiring that a pet dealer

22         post notice indicating where a dog or cat was

23         bred or brokered; providing that a waiver of

24         any right by the purchaser is void; providing

25         that a purchaser may initiate an action in

26         court if a pet dealer fails to make certain

27         reimbursements, refunds, or exchanges;

28         requiring that documents for registration with

29         a pedigree registry organization be provided to

30         the purchaser within a specified period if the

31         animal is registered; providing for a refund to

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1         the purchaser if pedigree documents are not

 2         received within a specified period; providing

 3         penalties for violations of the act; providing

 4         an effective date.

 5  

 6  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

 7  

 8         Section 1.  Section 828.29, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         828.29  Dogs and cats transported or offered for sale;

11  health requirements; consumer guarantee.--

12         (1)(a)  For each dog transported into the state for

13  sale, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this

14  section must be administered by or under the direction of a

15  veterinarian, licensed by the state of origin and accredited

16  by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the

17  official certificate of veterinary inspection. The tests,

18  vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered no more than

19  30 days and no less than 14 days before the dog's entry into

20  the state. As used in this paragraph, the term "under the

21  direction of a veterinarian" means that a licensed doctor of

22  veterinary medicine is on the premises at the time the tests,

23  vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section are

24  administered. The Official certificate of veterinary

25  inspection certifying compliance with this section must

26  accompany each dog transported into the state for sale.

27         (b)  For each dog offered for sale within the state,

28  the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this

29  section must be administered by or under the direction of a

30  veterinarian, licensed by the state and accredited by the

31  United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  official certificate of veterinary inspection.  The tests,

 2  vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered before the

 3  dog is offered for sale in the state, unless the licensed,

 4  accredited veterinarian certifies on the official certificate

 5  of veterinary inspection that to inoculate or deworm the dog

 6  is not in the best medical interest of the dog, in which case

 7  the vaccine or anthelmintic may not be administered to that

 8  particular dog. As used in this paragraph, the term "under the

 9  direction of a veterinarian" means that a licensed doctor of

10  veterinary medicine is on the premises at the time the tests,

11  vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section are

12  administered. Each dog must receive vaccines and anthelmintics

13  against the following diseases and internal parasites:

14         1.  Canine distemper.

15         2.  Leptospirosis.

16         3.  Bordetella (by intranasal inoculation or by an

17  alternative method of administration if deemed necessary by

18  the attending veterinarian and noted on the health

19  certificate, which must be administered in this state once

20  before sale).

21         4.  Parainfluenza.

22         5.  Hepatitis.

23         6.  Canine parvo.

24         7.  Rabies, provided the dog is over 3 months of age

25  and the inoculation is administered by a licensed

26  veterinarian.

27         8.  Roundworms.

28         9.  Hookworms.

29  

30  If the dog is under 4 months of age, the tests, vaccines, and

31  anthelmintics required by this section must be administered no

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  more than 21 days before sale within the state.  If the dog is

 2  4 months of age or older, the tests, vaccines, and

 3  anthelmintics required by this section must be administered at

 4  or after 3 months of age, but no more than 1 year before sale

 5  within the state.

 6         (2)(a)  For each cat transported into the state for

 7  sale, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this

 8  section must be administered by or under the direction of a

 9  veterinarian, licensed by the state of origin and accredited

10  by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the

11  official certificate of veterinary inspection. As used in this

12  paragraph, the term "under the direction of a veterinarian"

13  means that a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine is on the

14  premises at the time the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics

15  required by this section are administered. The tests,

16  vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered no more than

17  30 days and no less than 14 days before the cat's entry into

18  the state.  The official certificate of veterinary inspection

19  certifying compliance with this section must accompany each

20  cat transported into the state for sale.

21         (b)  For each cat offered for sale within the state,

22  the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this

23  section must be administered by or under the direction of a

24  veterinarian, licensed by the state and accredited by the

25  United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the

26  official certificate of veterinary inspection.  The tests,

27  vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered before the

28  cat is offered for sale in the state, unless the licensed,

29  accredited veterinarian certifies on the official certificate

30  of veterinary inspection that to inoculate or deworm the cat

31  is not in the best medical interest of the cat, in which case

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  the vaccine or anthelmintic may not be administered to that

 2  particular cat.  Each cat must receive vaccines and

 3  anthelmintics against the following diseases and internal

 4  parasites:

 5         1.  Panleukopenia.

 6         2.  Feline viral rhinotracheitis.

 7         3.  Calici virus.

 8         4.  Rabies, if the cat is over 3 months of age and the

 9  inoculation is administered by a licensed veterinarian.

10         5.  Hookworms.

11         6.  Roundworms.

12  

13  If the cat is under 4 months of age, the tests, vaccines, and

14  anthelmintics required by this section must be administered no

15  more than 21 days before sale within the state.  If the cat is

16  4 months of age or older, the tests, vaccines, and

17  anthelmintics required by this section must be administered at

18  or after 3 months of age, but no more than 1 year before sale

19  within the state.

20         (3)(a)  Each dog or cat subject to subsection (1) or

21  subsection (2) must be accompanied by a current official

22  certificate of veterinary inspection and an animal-purchase

23  disclosure at all times while being offered for sale within

24  the state.  The examining veterinarian must retain one copy of

25  the official certificate of veterinary inspection on file for

26  at least 1 year after the date of examination.  At the time of

27  sale of the animal, one copy of the official certificate of

28  veterinary inspection must be given to the buyer.  The seller

29  must retain one copy of the official certificate of veterinary

30  inspection on record for at least 1 year after the date of

31  sale.

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1         (b)  The term "official certificate of veterinary

 2  inspection" means a legible certificate of veterinary

 3  inspection signed by the examining veterinarian licensed by

 4  the state of origin and accredited by the United States

 5  Department of Agriculture, that shows the age, sex, breed,

 6  color, and health record of the dog or cat, the printed or

 7  typed names and addresses of the person or business from whom

 8  the animal was obtained, the consignor or seller, the

 9  consignee or purchaser, and the examining veterinarian, and

10  the veterinarian's license number.  The official certificate

11  of veterinary inspection must list all vaccines and deworming

12  medications administered to the dog or cat, including the

13  manufacturer, vaccine, type, lot number, expiration date, and

14  the dates of administration thereof, and must state that the

15  examining veterinarian warrants that, to the best of his or

16  her knowledge, the animal has no sign of contagious or

17  infectious diseases and has no evidence of internal or

18  external parasites, including coccidiosis and ear mites, but

19  excluding fleas and ticks.  The Department of Agriculture and

20  Consumer Services shall supply the official intrastate

21  certificate of veterinary inspection required by this section

22  at cost.

23         (c)  The term "animal-purchase disclosure" means a

24  legible certificate containing the following information:

25         1.  For dogs:

26         a.  The breeder's name and address, if known, or if not

27  known, the source of the dog. If the person from whom the dog

28  was obtained is a dealer licensed by the United States

29  Department of Agriculture, the person's name, address, and

30  federal dealer identification number.

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1         b.  The date of the dog's birth and the date the dealer

 2  received the dog. If the dog is from a source licensed by the

 3  United States Department of Agriculture, the individual

 4  identifying tag, tattoo, or collar number for that animal. If

 5  the breed is unknown or mixed, the record shall so indicate.

 6         c.  If the dog is being sold as being capable of

 7  registration, the names and registration numbers of the sire

 8  and dam and the litter number, if known.

 9         d.  A record of any veterinarian treatment or

10  medication received by the dog while in the possession of the

11  pet dealer.

12         2.  For cats:

13         a.  The breeder's and broker's name and address, if

14  known, or if not known, the source of the cat. If the person

15  from whom the cat was obtained is a dealer licensed by the

16  United States Department of Agriculture, the person's name,

17  address, and federal dealer identification number.

18         b.  The date of the cat's birth, unless unknown because

19  of the source of the cat and the date the dealer received the

20  cat.

21         c.  A record of any known disease or sickness that the

22  cat is afflicted with at the time of sale. This information

23  shall be orally disclosed to the purchaser.

24         d.  A record of any veterinarian treatment or

25  medication received by the cat while in the possession of the

26  pet dealer.

27         (d)(c)  The examination of each dog and cat by a

28  veterinarian must take place no more than 30 days before the

29  sale within the state.  The examination must include, but not

30  be limited to, a fecal test to determine if the dog or cat is

31  free of internal parasites, including hookworms, roundworms,

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  tapeworms, and whipworms. If the examination warrants, the dog

 2  or cat must be treated with a specific anthelmintic. In the

 3  absence of a definitive parasitic diagnosis, each dog or cat

 4  must be given a broad spectrum anthelmintic.  Each dog over 6

 5  months of age must also be tested for heartworms.  Each cat

 6  must also be tested for feline leukemia before being offered

 7  for sale in the state. All of these tests must be performed by

 8  or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, and the

 9  results of the tests must be listed on the official

10  certificate of veterinary inspection.

11         (e)(d)  All dogs and cats offered for sale and copies

12  of certificates held by the seller and veterinarian are

13  subject to inspection by any agent of the Department of

14  Agriculture and Consumer Services, any agent of the United

15  States Department of Agriculture, any law enforcement officer,

16  or any agent appointed under s. 828.03.

17         (4)  A person may not transport into the state for sale

18  or offer for sale within the state any dog or cat that is less

19  than 8 weeks of age. A pet dealer may not possess a dog or cat

20  that is less than 8 weeks old if the dealer is not the breeder

21  of the animal.

22         (5)(a)  If, within 14 days following the sale by a pet

23  dealer of an animal subject to this section, a licensed

24  veterinarian of the consumer's choosing certifies that, at the

25  time of the sale, the animal was unfit for purchase due to

26  illness or disease, the presence of symptoms of a contagious

27  or infectious disease, or the presence of internal or external

28  parasites, excluding fleas and ticks; or if, within 1 year

29  following the sale of an animal subject to this section, a

30  licensed veterinarian of the consumer's choosing certifies

31  such animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital or

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  hereditary disorder that which adversely affects the health of

 2  the animal; or if, within 1 year following the sale of an

 3  animal subject to this section, the breed, sex, or health of

 4  such animal is found to have been misrepresented to the

 5  consumer, the pet dealer shall afford the consumer the right

 6  to choose one of the following options:

 7         1.(a)  The right to return the animal and receive a

 8  refund of the purchase price, including the sales tax, and

 9  reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs directly related

10  to the veterinarian's examination and certification that the

11  dog or cat is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section and

12  directly related to necessary emergency services and treatment

13  undertaken to relieve suffering;

14         2.(b)  The right to return the animal and receive an

15  exchange dog or cat of the consumer's choice of equivalent

16  value, and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs

17  directly related to the veterinarian's examination and

18  certification that the dog or cat is unfit for purchase

19  pursuant to this section and directly related to necessary

20  emergency services and treatment undertaken to relieve

21  suffering; or

22         3.(c)  The right to retain the animal and receive

23  reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs for necessary

24  services and treatment related to the attempt to cure or

25  curing of the dog or cat.

26         (b)  A pet dealer may not refuse to reimburse

27  veterinary costs because the consumer did not use a

28  veterinarian designated by the pet dealer.

29         (c)  If a dog or cat is returned to a pet dealer due to

30  illness, disease, or a congenital or hereditary condition

31  requiring veterinary care, the pet dealer shall provide the

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  animal with proper veterinary care that may include humanely

 2  euthanizing the animal.

 3         (d)  Reimbursement for veterinary costs may not exceed

 4  150 percent of the purchase price of the animal.  The cost of

 5  veterinary services is reasonable if comparable to the cost of

 6  similar services rendered by other licensed veterinarians in

 7  proximity to the treating veterinarian and the services

 8  rendered are appropriate for the certification by the

 9  veterinarian.

10         (6)  A consumer may sign a waiver relinquishing his or

11  her right to return the dog or cat for congenital or

12  hereditary disorders. In the case of such waiver, the consumer

13  has 48 normal business hours, excluding weekends and holidays,

14  in which to have the animal examined by a licensed

15  veterinarian of the consumer's choosing.  If the veterinarian

16  certifies that, at the time of sale, the dog or cat was unfit

17  for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary disorder, the

18  pet dealer must afford the consumer the right to choose one of

19  the following options:

20         (a)  The right to return the animal and receive a

21  refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, but

22  excluding the veterinary costs related to the certification

23  that the dog or cat is unfit; or

24         (b)  The right to return the animal and receive an

25  exchange dog or cat of the consumer's choice of equivalent

26  value, but not a refund of the veterinary costs related to the

27  certification that the dog or cat is unfit.

28         (6)(7)  A pet dealer may specifically state at the time

29  of sale, in writing to the consumer, the presence of specific

30  congenital or hereditary disorders, in which case the consumer

31  has no right to any refund or exchange for those disorders.

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1         (7)(8)  The refund or exchange required by subsection

 2  (5) or subsection (6) shall be made by the pet dealer not

 3  later than 10 business days following receipt of a signed

 4  veterinary certification as required in subsection (5) or

 5  subsection (6).  The consumer must notify the pet dealer

 6  within 7 2 business days after the veterinarian's

 7  determination that the animal is unfit.  The written

 8  certification of unfitness must be presented to the pet dealer

 9  not later than 10 3 business days following receipt thereof by

10  the consumer.

11         (8)(9)  An animal may not be determined unfit for sale

12  on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted after

13  the consumer takes possession of the animal except as provided

14  in subsection (5). A veterinary finding of intestinal or

15  external parasites is not grounds for declaring a dog or cat

16  unfit for sale unless the animal is clinically ill because of

17  that condition.

18         (9)(10)  If a pet dealer wishes to contest a demand for

19  veterinary expenses, refund, or exchange made by a consumer

20  under this section, the dealer may require the consumer to

21  produce the animal for examination by a licensed veterinarian

22  designated by the dealer.  Upon such examination, if the

23  consumer and the dealer are unable to reach an agreement that

24  constitutes one of the options set forth in subsection (5) or

25  subsection (6) within 10 business days following receipt of

26  the animal for such examination, the consumer may initiate an

27  action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover or

28  obtain reimbursement of veterinary expenses, refund, or

29  exchange.

30  

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1         (10)(11)  This section does not in any way limit the

 2  rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer

 3  under any other law.

 4         (11)(12)  Every pet dealer who sells an animal to a

 5  consumer must provide the consumer at the time of sale with a

 6  written notice, printed or typed, which reads as follows:

 7  

 8         It is the consumer's right, pursuant to section

 9         828.29, Florida Statutes, to receive a

10         certificate of veterinary inspection with each

11         dog or cat purchased from a pet dealer.  Such

12         certificate shall list all vaccines and

13         deworming medications administered to the

14         animal and shall state that the animal has been

15         examined by a Florida-licensed veterinarian who

16         certifies that, to the best of the

17         veterinarian's knowledge, the animal was found

18         to have been healthy at the time of the

19         veterinary examination.  In the event that the

20         consumer purchases the animal and finds it to

21         have been unfit for purchase as provided in

22         section 828.29(5), Florida Statutes, the

23         consumer must notify the pet dealer within 7 2

24         business days of the veterinarian's

25         determination that the animal was unfit.  The

26         consumer has the right to retain, return, or

27         exchange the animal and receive reimbursement

28         for certain related veterinary services

29         rendered to the animal, subject to the right of

30         the dealer to have the animal examined by

31         another veterinarian.

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
    27-1021B-04




 1  

 2         (12)(13)  For the purposes of subsections (5)-(11)

 3  (5)-(12) and (16), the term "pet dealer" means any person,

 4  firm, partnership, corporation, or other association that

 5  which, in the ordinary course of business, engages in the sale

 6  of more than two litters, or 20 dogs or cats, per year,

 7  whichever is greater, to the public.  This definition includes

 8  breeders of animals who sell such animals directly to a

 9  consumer.

10         (13)  Each pet dealer shall post in a conspicuous

11  location on the cage of each dog or cat offered for sale a

12  notice indicating the state where the dog or cat was bred and

13  brokered.

14         (14)  The state attorney may bring an action to enjoin

15  any violator of this section or s. 828.12 or s. 828.13 from

16  being a pet dealer.

17         (15)  County-operated or city-operated animal control

18  agencies and registered nonprofit humane organizations are

19  exempt from this section.

20         (16)  A pet dealer may not knowingly misrepresent the

21  breed, sex, or health, or origin of any dog or cat offered for

22  sale within the state.

23         (17)  A pet dealer may not refuse to reimburse

24  veterinary costs because the consumer did not use a

25  veterinarian specified by the pet dealer.

26         (18)  Any agreement or contract by a consumer to waive

27  any right under this section is void and unenforceable.

28         (19)  If a pet dealer fails to make any reimbursement,

29  refund, or exchange required under subsection (5) within 10

30  business days after notification by the consumer that the

31  animal has been declared unfit for sale, the consumer may

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
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 1  initiate an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to

 2  recover or obtain reimbursement of veterinary expenses, a

 3  refund of the purchase price, or a reasonable exchange,

 4  including reasonable attorney's fees.

 5         (20)(a)  A pet dealer may not state, promise, or

 6  represent to the purchaser, directly or indirectly, that a dog

 7  is registered, or capable of being registered, with an animal

 8  pedigree registry organization unless the pet dealer provides

 9  the purchaser with the documents necessary for that

10  registration within 120 days following the date of sale of the

11  dog.

12         (b)  If a pet dealer fails to provide the documents

13  necessary for registration within 6 months following the date

14  of sale in violation of paragraph (a), the purchaser shall,

15  upon written notice to the pet dealer, be entitled to retain

16  the animal and receive a partial refund of 75 percent of the

17  purchase price of the animal, plus sales tax, or return the

18  animal along with all documentation previously provided the

19  purchaser for a full refund, including sales tax.

20         (21)(17)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter,

21  a person who violates any provision of this section commits a

22  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.

23  775.082 or s. 775.083, and such person may also be assessed a

24  civil penalty of up to $1,000, and may be prohibited from

25  selling dogs or cats at retail in this state for up to 30

26  days. For a second violation, the pet dealer is subject to a

27  civil penalty of up to $2,500 and may be prohibited from

28  selling dogs or cats at retail in this state for up to 90

29  days. For a third violation, the pet dealer is subject to a

30  civil penalty of up to $5,000 and may be prohibited from

31  selling dogs or cats at retail in this state for up to 6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 3058
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 1  months. For a fourth or subsequent violation, the pet dealer

 2  is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and may be

 3  prohibited from selling dogs or cats at retail in this state

 4  for up to 1 year. The state attorney may bring an action to

 5  impose a civil penalty for a violation of this section and may

 6  seek a court order enjoining the person from engaging in the

 7  business of selling dogs or cats at retail in this state for

 8  the period set forth in this subsection.

 9         Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

10  

11            *****************************************

12                          SENATE SUMMARY

13    Requires that any cat or dog offered for sale must be
      accompanied by an animal-purchase disclosure. Prohibits a
14    pet dealer from possessing a dog or cat under a certain
      age. Prohibits a pet dealer from refusing to reimburse
15    veterinary costs under certain conditions. Requires a pet
      dealer to provide veterinary care to an animal that is
16    returned due to illness or disease. Provides that
      reimbursement of veterinary costs may not exceed a
17    certain percentage of the purchase price. Deletes the
      provision that permits a purchaser to waive his or her
18    right to return a dog or cat for congenital or hereditary
      disorders. Requires that the purchaser notify and present
19    to the pet dealer a veterinarian's determination of the
      unfitness of an animal within 7 days after purchase.
20    Requires the pet dealer to post a notice indicating where
      the dog or cat was bred or brokered. Provides that a
21    waiver of any right of the purchase is void. Provides
      that a purchaser may initiate an action in court if a pet
22    dealer fails to make a reimbursement, refund, or exchange
      as required. Requires that documents for registration
23    with a pedigree registry organization be provided to the
      purchaser within a certain period if the animal is
24    registered or capable of being registered. Provides for a
      refund to the purchaser if pedigree documents are not
25    received within a certain period. Provides penalties for
      violations of the act. (See bill for details.)
26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

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