KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – A STATEMENT OF NEW JERSEY LAW GOVERNING THE SALE OF DOGS AND CATS

The sale of dogs and cats is subject to a regulation of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. In the event that a licensed veterinarian certifies your animal to be unfit for purchase within 14 days following receipt of your animal or within six months in the case of a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, you may:

i. Return your animal and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax; or

ii. Keep your animal and attempt to cure it; or

iii. Return your animal and receive an animal of your choice of equivalent value.

Veterinary fees limited to two times the purchase price of the animal, including sales tax, which were related to the condition rendering the animal unfit for sale, must be paid by the dealer in the event that you choose to keep the animal. If you choose to return the animal, veterinary fees incurred prior to receipt of the veterinary certification, limited to two times the purchaser price of the animal, including sales tax, which were related to the condition rendering the animal unfit for sale, must be paid by the dealer.

Further, in the event of your animal's death within this 14-day period, except when death occurs by accident or as a result of injuries sustained after delivery, you may choose to receive either a full refund of the purchase price, plus sales tax, or an animal of equivalent value. In addition, veterinary fees, limited to two times the purchase price, including sales tax must be paid by the pet dealer.

In order to exercise these rights, you must present to the pet dealer a written veterinary certification that the animal is unfit for purchase and an itemized bill of all veterinary fees incurred prior to your receipt of the certification. Both of these items must be presented no later than five days after you have received the certification of unfitness. In the event that the pet dealer wishes to contest the certification or the bill, he may request a hearing at the Division of Consumer Affairs. If the pet dealer does not contest the matter, he must make the refund or reimbursement not later than ten days after receiving the veterinary certification. Although your dog or cat is required to be examined by a licensed veterinarian prior to sale, symptoms of certain conditions may not appear until after sale. If your dog or cat appears ill, you should have it examined by a licensed veterinarian of your choice at the earliest possible time.

If the pet dealer has promised to register your animal or to provide the necessary papers and fails to do so within the 120 days following the date of sale, you are entitled to return the animal and receive a full refund of the purchase price plus sales tax or to keep the animal and receive a refund of 75 percent of the purchase price plus sales tax. In the event you elect to keep the animal and the dealer provides the 75 percent refund, the dealer is no longer obligated to register the animal or to provide the necessary papers to do so.