Various states have puppy lemon laws that look out for the two-legged consumer; after all, you never know if some shady puppy dealer is pulling the wool over your Shetland’s eyes (“Dermatitis? Neva heard of it.”). Depending on your state, lemon laws apply to people who sell pets for profit or pay state tax on the sale of a pet, like pet stores and backyard breeders, so it often exempts humane societies and animal shelters.
Within these laws, you usually have legal rights for a full refund of the purchase price during a certain time frame (usually 10 to 14 days), or reimbursement for veterinary costs up to the purchase price. Some states will extend the warranty for up to a year for inherited defects, so check with your local state rules.
If you find a backyard breeder who isn’t responsible or is not willing to guarantee the health of your new puppy, find a better breeder. You don’t want to be putting money in these dealer’s pockets, anyway. If your state or county doesn’t have any lemon laws, rally your pet-loving friends and have your council member, senator, or representative pass pet-protecting laws to look out for our pets. At our clinic, we strongly support puppy lemon laws, as we want everyone to have access to healthy, happy pets.