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Arizona

Title 44. Trade and Commerce. Chapter 11. Regulations Concerning Particular Businesses. Article 17. Pet Dealers.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: AZ ST 44-1799 - 1799.09

Citation: A. R. S. 44-1799 - 1799.09


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 10/2013

Summary:   This Arizona statutory section comprises the state's pet shop laws.  The section requires that retail pet sellers provide purchasers a notice of rights that includes a statement of good health signed by a veterinarian.  Purchasers have fifteen days to return unhealthy or diseased dogs and receive a refund or compensation for reasonable veterinary expenses.


Statute in Full:

 

§ 44-1799. Definitions

§ 44-1799.01. Initial veterinary examination

§ 44-1799.02. Information statement; purchaser rights; notice

§ 44-1799.03. Record keeping

§ 44-1799.04. Animal care requirements; violation; classification

§ 44-1799.05. Purchaser remedies for sale of unfit cats or dogs; requirements; exceptions

§ 44-1799.06. Contested actions; procedures

§ 44-1799.07. Presumption of illness

§ 44-1799.08. Civil penalties

§ 44-1799.09. Applicability to other laws; waiver of rights

 

 

 

§ 44-1799. Definitions

In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Clinically ill" means an illness that is apparent to a veterinarian based on the veterinarian's observation, examination or testing of an animal or on a review of the animal's medical records.

2. "Nonelective surgical procedure" means a surgical procedure that is necessary according to commonly accepted standards of veterinary medicine to preserve or restore the health of the cat or dog, to prevent the animal from experiencing pain or discomfort or to correct a condition that would interfere with the cat's or dog's ability to walk, run or jump or to otherwise function in a normal manner.

3. "Pet dealer" means a person who owns a pet store.

4. "Pet store" means a commercial establishment that engages in a for-profit business of selling at retail cats, dogs or other animals, but does not include commercial livestock operations and commercial livestock auction markets. Pet store does not mean a publicly operated pound or a private, charitable not-for-profit humane society or any animal adoption activity that a pound or humane society conducts off site at any pet store or other commercial enterprise.

5. "Purchaser" means a person who purchases any cat or dog without intent to resell.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.01. Initial veterinary examination

A. A veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21 [FN1] shall examine all cats and dogs that are received by a pet dealer before the cat or dog is placed for sale.

B. If the veterinarian determines that a cat or dog is afflicted with a contagious disease, the cat or dog may be returned to the source or kept by the pet dealer. If the pet dealer keeps the cat or dog, the pet dealer shall cage the cat or dog separately from healthy animals and shall house and handle the cat or dog in a manner that will minimize the likelihood of contagion.

[FN1] Section 32-2201 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.02. Information statement; purchaser rights; notice

A. At the time of sale, each pet dealer shall give the purchaser of a cat or dog a written statement that contains the following information:

1. The date of the animal's birth, if known, the state in which the animal was born, if known, and the date the pet dealer received the animal.

2. The immunizations and deworming treatments that have been administered to the animal as of the time of sale, if known, including the dates of administration and the type and brand of vaccine or deworming treatment.

3. The breed, sex, color and other identifying marks apparent at the time of sale. If the animal is from a source that is licensed by the United States department of agriculture, the individual identifying tag, tattoo or color number for the animal shall be included. If the breed is unknown or mixed, this fact shall be stated.

4. Any veterinary treatment or medication that the animal received while in the possession of the pet dealer and either of the following:

(a) A statement signed by the pet dealer and the purchaser at the time of sale that contains all of the following:

(i) A statement that a veterinarian examined the animal and the animal has no apparent disease or illness.

(ii) A statement that a veterinarian examined the animal and at the time of the examination the animal had no apparent congenital or hereditary condition that would adversely affect the health of the animal at the time of sale or that is likely to adversely affect the health of the animal in the future.

(b) A record of any known disease or illness or any hereditary or congenital condition that adversely affects the health of the animal at the time of sale or that is likely to adversely affect the health of the animal in the future. The record shall include a statement that is signed by a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21, [FN1] that recommends necessary treatment, if any, and that verifies that the disease, illness or condition does not require hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures and is not likely to require hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures in the future. A veterinarian's statement is not required for intestinal or external parasites. The pet dealer and the purchaser shall sign the statement required by this subdivision.

B. The purchaser shall acknowledge in writing that the purchaser has received the information required by subsection A.

C. In addition to information required to be given to a purchaser pursuant to subsection A, at the time of sale and on request of the purchaser, a pet dealer that sells a cat or dog shall provide the prospective purchaser with written notice of the purchaser's rights. The notice shall be a legible copy of this article.

D. A pet dealer shall post the following notice within close proximity of the cages or enclosures in which cats or dogs are offered for sale:

Pursuant to title 44, chapter 11, article 17, Arizona Revised Statutes, information on the source of the cat or dog and any veterinary treatment received by the cat or dog is available for review. You are entitled to a copy of the law describing your rights as a consumer.

[FN1] Section 32-2201 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.03. Record keeping

A. A pet dealer shall maintain a written record on the health, status and disposition of each cat and dog at the time of sale for at least one year after the cat or dog is sold or as otherwise provided by law.

B. The records shall contain all of the information that is required by § 44-1799.02 and shall be made available to animal control officers, law enforcement officers and representatives of the county health or environmental services department for inspection during normal business hours.

 

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.04. Animal care requirements; violation; classification

A. A pet dealer shall do the following:

1. Maintain facilities in which cats or dogs are housed in a sanitary condition.

2. Provide cats or dogs with potable water and adequate nutrition.

3. Provide adequate space that is appropriate to the age, size, weight, species and breed of cat or dog. For the purposes of this paragraph, "adequate space" means sufficient space for the cat or dog to experience normal body movements without having to make contact with the sides or top of the enclosure, including the ability to stand up, sit down, turn about freely and relax in a natural position.

4. If cats or dogs are housed on wire flooring, provide a resting board, a floormat or another similar device that is maintained in a sanitary condition and that allows the cat or dog to rest off of the wire flooring.

5. If a cat or dog is afflicted with a contagious disease, handle the cat or dog in a manner that is required by § 44-1799.01, subsection B.

6. Promptly provide appropriate veterinary care when it is necessary.

B. A pet dealer shall not offer for sale a cat or dog that is less than eight weeks old.

C. A pet dealer who violates subsection A of this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.05. Purchaser remedies for sale of unfit cats or dogs; requirements; exceptions

A. A cat or dog that is purchased from a pet dealer is considered to be unfit for sale if either of the following applies:

1. Within fifteen days after the purchaser takes possession of the animal, a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21, [FN1] states in writing that in the veterinarian's opinion the cat or dog has become ill or otherwise symptomatic due to any illness, injury or other defect that existed in the animal before the purchaser took possession of the animal.

2. Within sixty days after the purchaser takes possession of the animal, a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21 states in writing that the animal has a congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that requires or is likely to require hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures.

B. The veterinary statement that is required pursuant to subsection A shall contain the following information:

1. The purchaser's name and address.

2. The date or dates on which the cat or dog was examined.

3. The type, breed and age of the cat or dog, if known.

4. A verification that the veterinarian examined the cat or dog.

5. A statement that the cat or dog had an illness or congenital or hereditary problem that rendered the cat or dog unfit for sale or that resulted in the cat's or dog's death.

6. The findings of the examination or necropsy, including laboratory results or copies of laboratory reports.

C. If a cat or dog is unfit for sale pursuant to subsection A, the purchaser may elect one of the following remedies:

1. Return the animal to the pet dealer for a refund of the purchase price, including transaction privilege, sales or similar excise tax.

2. If a replacement animal is available, exchange the animal for an animal of the same species and of equivalent value and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment in an amount of not more than the original purchase price of the animal, including transaction privilege, sales or similar excise tax.

3. Retain the animal and receive reimbursement from the pet dealer for reasonable veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment in an amount of not more than the original purchase price of the animal, including transaction privilege, sales or similar excise tax.

D. The purchaser shall comply with all of the following requirements to obtain the remedies available under this section:

1. Notify the pet dealer in writing that the cat or dog has a medical or health problem, including a congenital or hereditary condition, within five days after a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21 diagnoses the problem. The purchaser shall provide the pet dealer with the veterinarian's name and telephone number.

2. If the cat or dog is ill or injured or has a congenital or hereditary condition, offer to present the cat or dog to the pet dealer, together with copies of all records that are available to the purchaser regarding the cat's or dog's diagnosis and condition.

3. If the cat or dog dies within fifteen days of the purchase, give the pet dealer the veterinarian's written statement that the cat or dog died from an illness that existed on or before the purchaser took possession of the cat or dog. The presentation of the written statement is sufficient proof to claim reimbursement or replacement pursuant to this section. The purchaser is not required to return the dead cat or dog to the pet dealer.

E. If a cat or dog was unfit for sale and has died or was euthanized by a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21, the pet dealer shall refund to the purchaser the purchase price, including transaction privilege, sales or similar excise tax.

F. If the purchaser is requesting a refund for reasonable veterinary expenses, an itemized bill of fees shall accompany the veterinarian statement required pursuant to subsection A. The itemized bill shall include fees for examination, diagnosis and treatment.

G. Unless the pet dealer contests the demand for remedies, the pet dealer shall pay refunds and shall reimburse veterinary expenses within thirty days after receiving the veterinarian's statement or, if applicable, within thirty days after the date on which the cat or dog is returned to the pet dealer.

H. The purchaser shall not be reimbursed for the purchase price or veterinary fees if any of the following applies:

1. The cat's or dog's illness or death resulted from maltreatment or neglect or from an injury that the cat or dog sustained after the purchaser took possession of the cat or dog.

2. The purchaser failed to carry out the recommended treatment prescribed by the veterinarian who made the initial diagnosis. this paragraph does not apply if the cost of the treatment together with the veterinarian's fees would exceed the purchase price of the cat or dog, including transaction privilege, sales or similar excise tax.

3. At the time of sale, the purchaser received the veterinary statement pursuant to subsection A and the statement disclosed the disease, illness or condition for which the purchaser seeks to return the cat or dog.

4. The purchaser refuses to return to the pet dealer all of the documents that were provided to the purchaser for the purpose of registering the cat or dog.

I. The value of veterinary medical services is deemed to be reasonable if the services rendered are appropriate for the diagnosis and treatment of an illness or congenital or hereditary condition and are comparable to the value of similar services rendered by other licensed veterinarians.

[FN1] Section 32-2201 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.06. Contested actions; procedures

A. If a pet dealer contests a demand for remedies, the pet dealer may require the purchaser to produce the cat or dog for examination by a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21 [FN1] unless the cat or dog has died. The pet dealer shall pay the costs of examination.

B. If the purchaser and the pet dealer are unable to reach an agreement within thirty days after the pet dealer receives the veterinarian statement or the veterinarian receives the cat or dog for examination, whichever is later, the purchaser may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction or the parties may agree in writing to submit to binding arbitration.

C. The prevailing party in the action shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees if the other party acted in bad faith in seeking or denying the requested remedy.

[FN1] Section 32-2201 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.07. Presumption of illness

A. It is a rebuttable presumption that an illness or a congenital or hereditary defect existed at the time of sale if the cat or dog dies within fifteen days after the purchaser takes possession of the cat or dog.

B. A finding by a veterinarian who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 21 [FN1] that the cat or dog had intestinal or external parasites is not grounds for declaring a cat or dog unfit for sale.

[FN1] Section 32-2201 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.08. Civil penalties

A. A pet dealer who violates this article is subject to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars per violation.

B. This section does not prohibit prosecution for criminal violations.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

§ 44-1799.09. Applicability to other laws; waiver of rights

A. This article does not limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to consumers and does not prevent the purchaser and the pet dealer from agreeing on additional terms and conditions that are not inconsistent with this article.

B. A contract or agreement under which a purchaser agrees to waive any rights under this article is null and void and is unenforceable.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 289, § 1.

 

 



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