When Marlene Forand brought her new poodle Ollie home, it quickly became apparent that Ollie was sick. After multiple check-ups, Ollie’s veterinarians confirmed that the puppy suffered from coccidia and giardia—intestinal parasites common in puppies. The news came as a surprise for Forand who had received a clean bill of health only weeks earlier from Trish’s All Breeds Pet Grooming.
Under section 828.29, Florida Statutes, any person who offers a dog or cat for sale in the State must have an “official certificate of veterinary inspection” certifying the age, sex, breed, color, and health record for the animal. Also under section 828.29, an owner who discovers that—within 14 days or up to one year depending on the condition—he or she purchased an “unfit” animal, the owner may either (a) return the animal for a full refund and reimbursement of vet bills, (b) exchange the animal for one of equal value and reimbursement of vet bills, or (c) keep the animal and the dealer must pay reasonable vet bills. The reimbursement for vet bills may not exceed the original purchase price for the animal.
Forand opted to keep Ollie and submitted vet bills to Trish’s totaling close to $500. After weeks of no response and pressure from a local news outlet, Trish’s sent Forand a check just shy of $300.
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