Monday, March 03, 2008

West Virginia Law

Copied from ShowBunny:

H. B. 2869

(By Delegates Fleischauer, Shaver, Marshall,
Beach, Shook, Longstreth, Hutchins,
Sobonya, Brown and Guthrie)

[Introduced January 9, 2008; referred to the

Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §19-20C-1, §19-20C-2, §19-
20C-3, §19-20C-4, §19-20C-5, §19-20C-6, §19-20C-7 and §19-20C-8, all
relating to protecting consumers against the sale or adoption of sick
or underage pets ; providing for penalties for violations of this

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated §19-20C-1, §19-20C-2, §19-
20C-3, §19-20C-4, §19-20C-5, §19-20C-6, §19-20C-7 and §19-20C-8, all
to read as follows:


§19-20C-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "Pet Welfare Act."
§19-20C-2. Definitions.
As used in this article:
(a) "Pet" means an animal kept by a person for companionship or
pleasure rather than for utility; including, but not limited to, dogs
and cats.
(b) "Purchase" means and includes, but is not limited to, any
transfer of pet ownership or title, whether for money, by adoption,
for exchange for other property or services or without any
(c) "Seller" means and includes, but is not limited to, all retail
stores, private breeders, private rescuers and public agencies that
sell or place two litters or twenty-five pets per year.
§19-20C-3. Application.
This article applies to all pet sellers.
§19-20C-4. Infected animals; reimbursement.
(a) Purchasers of a pet have fifteen days from the date of purchase
to return the pet to the seller for any reason for full reimbursement.
(b) If a licensed veterinarian diagnoses a pet with an illness within
fifteen days of the purchase date, the pet seller will fully
reimburse the purchaser and will not require the purchaser to return
the pet to the seller.
(c) If a licensed veterinarian diagnoses a pet with an illness within
fifteen days of the purchase date, the seller will reimburse the
purchaser for any veterinary costs up to the purchase price of the
pet or five hundred dollars, whichever is greater.
(d) If a licensed veterinarian diagnoses a pet with a congenital
defect within one year of the pet's purchase date, the pet's seller
will either fully reimburse the purchaser or replace the pet with
another pet that is free of defects and infection.

§19-20C-5. Sale of pets under eight weeks of age; import, export.

(a) No pet under eight weeks of age shall be sold or purchased in the
(b) No pet under eight weeks of age shall be imported into the state
for sale or purchase.
(c) No pet under eight weeks of age shall be exported out of the
state for sale or purchase.
(d) This section does not apply to humane or animal shelters caring
for orphaned pets.
§19-20C-6. Health certificates at pet sale or adoption.
At the time of purchase, a pet seller must provide to a purchaser a
copy of a certificate verifying the health of the pet and certifying
that the required care and vaccinations have been given. The
certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian or the director
of a county or municipal animal or humane shelter for whom the
governing body states in writing that the shelter will not pay
veterinary bills.
§19-20C-7. Posting of consumer rights and protections.
At the time of purchase, a pet seller must prominently display a 10"
x 10" sign at the seller's place of business or furnish the purchaser
with a written contract informing consumers of their rights and
protections under the law.
§19-20C-8. Violations; penalties.
A person who violates a provision of this article is guilty of a
misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less
than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.
Magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts to
enforce the provisions of this article.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to protect consumers against the
purchase of sick or underage pets.

While I support efforts to prevent unscrupulous breeders from passing on sick or injured animals, this proposed law goes way too far. If this law goes into effect, pets will get ridiculously expensive and many reputable breeders will be forced out of business.

Please contact your representatives and tell them that this law will destroy the pet industry. Those who abuse animals don't care about the law and will continue to do so anyway, and reputable breeders and hopeful pet owners will be the ones hurt.

1 comment:

YorkieLover said...

This law (HB2869) gives the right to any buyer of a pet, to have their money refunded by the seller for "ANY REASON" within 15 days of purchase. The seller must refund the buyer's purchase price and the buyer keeps the pet! Not only do they keep the pet , the seller has to pay any Vet bills should that dog become sick for any reason within 15 days of purchase! This means that the buyer could break the dogs leg, expose the dog to disease, change their mind, landlord doesn't allow pets (which they knew before) or want the dog and the money. This bill gives the legal venue for legalized theft of pets! It also fills the pockets of the Vets, Court Systems, Lawyer's and Pet Buyers. The courts will be filled with law suits from buyer's suing sellers and seller's suing the Vet's. I sell Yorkshire Terriers and my puppies are not sold until they are 8 to 10 weeks old. They are taken to the Vet 2 to 3 times before they go to a new home. They are seen within the first 5 days of birth, then at 7 weeks and at 9 weeks for any and all shots and worming needed. The Vet checks the health of all my puppies before they are sold. Responsible breeders do the best they can to ensure the health of their puppies. Once they leave my home, they are no longer under my care and watchful eye and can be exposed to other environments where disease and germs can effect their health. They are exposed to other animals, humans, chemicals, plants, stress etc, that I can not control and within 15 days can come in contact with just about anything. The law states that a puppy can not be sold before the age of 8 weeks. So this law indicates that it only takes 8 weeks to make it healthy enough to be sold, don't they understand that same puppy can be make sick by someone else in 2 weeks or less? The deadliest disease to a puppy is Provo, which only takes 5 days to kill a puppy! What if that puppy is exposed to Provo on the 10th day after purchased? With all the recalls of tainted dog food, is the seller responsible for illness, death or the Vet bill? What if the buyer gives this new puppy canned food and it sits for days and becomes spoiled, making the puppy sick. I advise my new buyers to keep the puppy on the same food, should they change the food it may have digestion/diahria problem and become ill. How do I know they haven't done this? Why should the seller be responsible for these things? I know many breeder's who buy several puppies from different sellers at the same time, how can the seller be sure that a sick puppy was purchased from them? Are all pets going to have to be DNA'ed at birth? One breeder I know sold a puppy to some folks that bathed him in flea shampoo that was to strong and made the puppy very ill. They complained and wanted their money back. It wasn't until the Vet did a toxicology test that showed it was the chemicals in the flea shampoo, then the issue was put to rest. Again should the seller pay the Vet bill? If a puppy suffers from a genetic issue and this is confirmed by a Vet in writing within 15 days, then yes the buyer should be refunded and the puppy returned to the seller or the puppy should be replaced, but not for just any reason! If my Vet gives my puppy a clean bill of health before it is sold, and 10 days later that puppy gets sick, can I sue my Vet? The price of puppies will have to double in order to buy puppy insurance coverage and added Vet Bills if this law passes. If I buy a car and 15 days later it gets a flat tire, can I take it back and get my money refunded and keep the car? A baby is born, the hospital sends mother and child home, the child gets sick 5 days later. Can the mother get the hospital bill money refunded and keep the baby? Gee, maybe this means that sometime in the future, people will be able to sue hospitals for genetic defects and illness in their children. This world is filled with those who try and get something or nothing! Sellers of pets contend with bounced checks, dishonest buyers and the fear that their pets are sold to responsobile people. No matter how much pre - screening I do before selling a puppy I always pray that the person I sold to is going care and love this puppy as much as I have.