Michigan Lawmakers Propose Dog and Cat Warranty

Senators in Michigan have proposed a bill that would establish a dog and cat warranty statute.

As introduced, Senate Bill 574 would provide a warranty for anyone who purchases an “unfit” cat or dog from any of the following dog or cat providers:

Pet shops that sell dogs and cats;
• Dog or cat dealers;
• Dog or cat breeders;
• Any person who engages in the sale of cats or dogs to the public for a profit;
• Any person who sells more than one litter of dogs or cats under six months old per year; and
• Any person who sells two dogs or cats over six months old per year.

The bill defines a “pet dealer” as “a person who for compensation buys or sells dogs or cats.” A “breeder” is defined as “a person who breeds or raises dogs or cats for sale to the public.”

A dog or cat is considered unfit for sale at the time of purchase if, within 30 days after the purchase, a veterinarian states, in writing, that the animal has symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease or illness that existed in the dog or cat at the time of purchase. A dog or cat is also considered unfit for sale if, within 90 days after purchase, a dog or cat veterinarian states in writing that the dog or cat died or is ill due to a hereditary or congenital defect.

Under the proposed bill, anyone who purchases an unfit dog or cat would be entitled to return the dog or cat for a refund of the full purchase price. If a replacement dog or cat is available, the purchaser may exchange the dog or cat for another one of his or her choosing as long as it is of equal value.

SB 574 would also allow the purchaser to keep the dog or cat and receive reimbursements for “reasonable” veterinary fees. The reimbursement of all reasonable veterinary fees may not exceed the original purchase price of the animal.
If the dog or cat dies, the buyer would be able to either receive a refund of the full purchase price or receive another dog or cat of equal value, if available, and receive reimbursements for reasonable veterinary fees, but the fees may not exceed the original purchase price of the dog or cat.

SB 574 has been referred to the Senate Committee for Regulatory Reform where it is awaiting a hearing. To view the bill in its entirety, click here.

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