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South Carolina

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 47. Animals, Livestock and Poultry. Chapter 13. Diseases and Infections. Article 1. General Provisions. 47-13-160. Fitness of registered companion dog or cat for sale; definitions; certifications; remedies.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Code 1976 47-13-160

Citation: SC ST 47-13-160


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:   This South Carolina statute provides that no pet dealer, pet shop, or pet breeder shall sell a registered companion dog or cat without providing to the purchaser a statement certifying that the dog or cat has received an infectious disease inoculation.  If at any time within fourteen days following the sale and delivery of a registered companion dog or cat to a purchaser, a licensed veterinarian certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase due to a noncongenital cause or condition or within six months certifies an animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, a purchaser has the right to elect one of the following options described in the statute.  This section is apparently limited to registered dogs or cats.


Statute in Full:

(A) No pet dealer, pet shop, or pet breeder shall sell a registered companion dog or cat without providing to the purchaser a statement certifying that the dog or cat has received an infectious disease inoculation suitable for the specific animal's age and species within the previous fourteen days for an animal under six months of age or within the previous ninety days for an animal six months of age or older. Proof of vaccination must be provided to the purchaser at the time of sale. The purchaser also must be provided with a copy of the "ELECTION OF OPTIONS" as contained in subsection (D).

(B) If at any time within fourteen days following the sale and delivery of a registered companion dog or cat to a purchaser, a licensed veterinarian certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase due to a noncongenital cause or condition or within six months certifies an animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, a purchaser has the right to elect one of the following options:

(1) the right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, and reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred before the purchaser's receipt of the veterinary certification. The seller's liability for veterinary fees under this option must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal;

(2) the right to retain the animal and to receive reimbursement for veterinary fees incurred before the purchaser's receipt of the veterinary certification and the future cost of veterinary fees to be incurred in curing or attempting to cure the animal. The seller's liability under this option must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal;

(3) the right to return the animal and to receive in exchange an animal of the purchaser's choice, of equivalent value, and reimbursement of veterinary fees incurred before the purchaser's receipt of the veterinary certification. The seller's liability for veterinary fees under this option must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal;

(4) the right to receive a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, for the animal or, in exchange, an animal of the purchaser's choice of equivalent value, and reimbursement of veterinary fees incurred before the death of the animal if the death occurs within fourteen days of the date the purchaser takes possession, except where death occurs by accident or injury sustained during that period. The seller's liability for veterinary fees under this option must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal.

(C) The seller shall accept the veterinary certification of unfitness delivered by the purchaser within five days following the purchaser's receipt of it. The certification must contain:

(1) the name of the owner;

(2) the date or dates of examination;

(3) the breed, color, sex, and age of the animal;

(4) a statement of the veterinarian's findings;

(5) a statement that the veterinarian certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase;

(6) an itemized statement of veterinary fees incurred as of the date of the certification;

(7) where the animal is curable, the estimated fee to cure the animal;

(8) where the animal has died, a statement setting forth the probable cause of death; and

(9) the name and address of the certifying veterinarian and the date of the certification.

(D) When a purchaser presents a veterinary certification of unfitness to the seller, the seller must confirm the purchaser's election in writing. The election must be in the following form and a copy must be given to the purchaser upon signing:

"UNFITNESS OF ANIMAL - ELECTION OF OPTIONS

I understand that, upon delivery of my veterinarian's certification of unfitness, I have the right to elect one of the following options. I am aware of those options and I understand each of them. I have chosen the following option:

___ 1. Return of the animal and receipt of a refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, for the animal and reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred before the date I received the veterinarian's certification of unfitness. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal.

___ 2. Detention of the animal and reimbursement for the veterinary fees incurred before the date I received the veterinarian's certification of unfitness and the future cost to be incurred in curing or attempting to cure the animal. The total reimbursement for veterinarian's fees must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal.

___ 3. Return of the animal and receipt of an animal of my choice of equivalent value in exchange and reimbursement of veterinary fees incurred before the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal.

___ 4. DEATH OF ANIMAL ONLY. Receipt of a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, for the animal or, in exchange, an animal of my choice of equivalent value and reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred before the death of the animal. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees must not exceed fifty percent of the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal."

(E) Where the animal has died, the veterinarian shall hold the carcass or forward it to the Clemson University Diagnostic Laboratory.

(F) If the seller refuses to refund the purchase price and fees pursuant to subsection (B), the purchaser may initiate a civil action to recover damages. The court, upon a finding that the seller violated the provisions of this section, shall award the purchaser two times the amount of the purchase price and fees, attorney's fees as determined by the court, and costs.

(G) As used in this section:

(1) "Pet dealer" is a person engaged in the ordinary course of business and sale to the public for profit of a companion animal described as being registered or being capable of being registered with an animal pedigree organization.

(2) "Pet shop" means an establishment where companion animals are bought, sold, exchanged, or offered for sale or exchange to the public.

(3) "Pet breeder" means a person engaged in the business of breeding companion animals for profit. The term does not include a person who, not in the ordinary course of business, owns an animal which occasionally is bred or produces a litter from which animals are sold.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1993 Act No. 1, § 1, eff January 7, 1993.

 



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