Bill S2570A-2013

Authorizes a consumer to seek reimbursement for treatment for an unfit cat or dog within 6 months of the purchase of such animal from a pet dealer

Enacts "Charlemagne's Law; authorizes a consumer to seek reimbursement for treatment for a unfit cat or dog within 6 months of the purchase of such animal from a pet dealer; provides that, the consumer shall be entitled to reimbursement for all veterinary services related to the condition of the cat or dog which made it unfit for purchase; eliminates the right of a consumer to return for a refund, or return and exchange such unfit cat or dog.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • Mar 25, 2013: PRINT NUMBER 2570A
  • Mar 25, 2013: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • Jan 22, 2013: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2570A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to dogs and cats unfit for purchase due to illness, a congenital malformation, or symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease

PURPOSE: This legislation will protect consumers and their pets from the sale of "Puppy Mills."

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one - states that this act shall be known and cited as "Charlemagne's Law".

Section two - Subdivision 1 of section 753 of the general business law, as amended by chapter 431 of the laws of 198S, and the opening paragraph as amended by chapter 68 of the laws of 1993, is amended to state six months following the sale of an animal subject to this article or receipt of the written notice required by a veterinarian of the consumer's choosing, licensed by a state certifies an animal to be unfit for purchase due to illness, a congenital malformation which adversely affects the health of the animal, or the presence of symptoms of a contagious or injections disease the pet dealer will be responsible to either one of the following:

A.) The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax and reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase and the veterinarian's treatment of the animal for the conditionals that makes the animal unfit for purchase.

B.) The right to return the animal and receive an exchange animal of the consumer's choice of equivalent value and reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase and for such veterinarian's treatment of the animal. The costs of treatment for the animal's illness will be covered during the lifetime of the animal.

C.) The right to retain the animal and provide reimbursement to the consumer for veterinary services from a licensed veterinarian of the consumer's choosing during the lifetime of such animal.

Section three - this act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to dogs and cats purchased from a pet dealer on or after such effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Puppy mills are large-scale commercial breeding facilities that sell primarily to retail pet shops or individual consumers where dogs are bred solely for profit, with no concern for their physical health or psychological well-being. Most animals in these facilities are disease ridden and force-bred continuously.

The animals produced at puppy mills are often sold on the internet, in newspaper ads, through brokers, or through pet stores. Puppy mills are 11Ot covered under the 1966 federal Animal Welfare Act (A W A) and many of these facilities do not meet those minimal standards for animal care. At these puppy mills, animals receive minimal veterinary

care, poor quality of food and water, lack of human interaction and overcrowded cages. In the worst puppy mills, after reaching a certain age, unwanted animals are euthanized.

For consumers who buy puppies or kittens farmed at pet mills, they sometimes find that the animal has health problems caused from over breeding and their pet dies within the first year of purchase. Those pets that survive from these health issues can have conditions that require numerous veterinary bills and/or have genetic problems that may not arise until many years later. These health conditions can bring emotional and financial burdens onto the pet owner, which may ultimately cause the pet to be given to a shelter or, worse, euthanized.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 6/12/12 Print Number 6093B

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This law will take effect on the thirtieth day after becoming law


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2570--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 22, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. BALL, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to dogs and cats unfit for purchase due to illness, a congenital malformation, or symp- toms of a contagious or infectious disease THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Charlemagne's law". S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 753 of the general business law, as added by chapter 431 of the laws of 1988, such section as renumbered and the opening paragraph as amended by chapter 68 of the laws of 1993, is amended to read as follows: 1. If, within [fourteen business days] SIX MONTHS following the sale of an animal subject to this article or receipt of the written notice required by section seven hundred fifty-four of this article, whichever occurred last, a veterinarian of the consumer's choosing, licensed by a state certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to illness, a congenital malformation which adversely affects the health of the animal, or the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease, AND NOTWITHSTANDING THE PRESENCE OF EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE CONSUMER MAY HAVE MISTREATED THE ANIMAL IN ANY MANNER OR IF THE ANIMAL HAS BEEN RETURNED FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN A CONDITION DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBDIVISION the pet dealer shall [afford the consumer the right to choose one of the following options: (a) The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax and reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section;
(b) The right to return the animal and to receive an exchange animal of the consumer's choice of equivalent value and reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section; or (c) The right to retain the animal and to receive]
PROVIDE reimburse- ment [from a pet dealer] TO THE CONSUMER for veterinary services from a licensed veterinarian of the consumer's choosing, for the purpose of curing or attempting to cure the animal DURING THE LIFETIME OF SUCH ANIMAL. [The reasonable value of reimbursable services rendered to cure or attempting to cure the animal shall not exceed the purchase price of the animal.] The value of such services is reasonable if comparable to the value of similar services rendered by other licensed veterinarians in proximity to the treating veterinarian. [Such reimbursement shall not include the costs of initial veterinary examination fees and diagnostic fees not directly related to the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section.] The commissioner by regulations shall prescribe a form for, and the content of, the certification that an animal is unfit for purchase, which shall be provided by an examining veterinarian to a consumer upon the examination of an animal which is subject to the provisions of this section. Such form shall include, but not be limited to, information which identifies the type of animal, the owner, the date and diagnosis of the animal, the treatment recommended if any, and an estimate or the actual cost of such treatment. Such form shall also include the notice prescribed in section seven hundred forty-three of this article. The commissioner by regulations shall prescribe information which shall be provided in writing by the pet dealer to the consumer upon the sale of the animal. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, a description, including breed of the animal, the date of purchase, the name, address and telephone number of the consumer, and the amount of the purchase. The pet dealer shall certify such information by sign- ing the document in which it is contained. S 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to dogs and cats purchased from a pet dealer on or after such effective date.

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