(R-Fairfield) applauded the State House of Representatives for unanimously supporting the Pet Lemon Law (HB 5409) last week which will protect the wallets and hearts of Connecticut families who bring pets into their homes.
“This bill is simply about accountability, basic human compassion for animals, and frankly, consumer protection,” said Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) who also testified on this bill at the public hearing in March. “When someone purchases a dog or cat, they are looking to make a worthwhile addition to their family, home and life. Too often you hear of the horror stories of the animal becoming ill from a genetic defect, which can lead to costly medical bills.”
This bill enables new pet owners to either seek reimbursement for certain veterinarian expenses for a dog or cat that suffers from an illness or congenital defect shortly after the sale, or request a replacement or refund for the animal. These additional options will not force owners to return a pet that they have adopted into their home in order to receive a fair financial compensation for their animal’s hardship.
Rep. Kupchick hopes this bill will set a higher business standard for pet stores, decreasing the use of puppy mills and other risky methods of acquiring animals to sell. Holding stores accountable by having them foot the bill for the costs they would typically pass on to the consumer will hopefully force them to sell healthy animals.
“In Connecticut, we have many reputable breeders, rescues and shelters that offer healthy dogs and cats for sale or adoption. There is no excuse for the disparity between these stores and breeders. It’s unfortunate that we have to legislate humane treatment, but the sad truth is, there are people who view animals as only a source of profit,” said Rep. Kupchick, who has volunteered for many years with local animal rescue groups that take in animals that are abandoned or abused.
This pet lemon law will require certain pet shops to post a statement informing customers of their rights under this new legislation and give customers a copy of the statement when they buy a dog or cat to further protect these families from unnecessary cost and emotional hardship.
The bill now heads to the Senate.