Florida Taking Pet "Lemon Law" Too FarTake Action!
Help us oppose SB 288!
February 25, 2009
Florida State Senator Larcenia Bullard has introduced SB 288 which makes unnecessary revisions to Florida's Pet Lemon Law statute that would be damaging to responsible dog and cat breeders.
In essence, SB 288 would add the following to the current pet consumer protection law contained in F.S. 828.29:
Direct the Department of Agriculture to create a costly full-time position to enforce the statute;
Add excessive fines of up to $10,000 for each violation;
Alter the definition of "pet dealer", for the purposes of the lemon law provisions, from the current threshold of more than 2 litters, to anyone who sells 20 or more dogs or cats in a 12 month period. This would re-categorize many people with breeds that have large litter sizes who would only be allowed 19 puppies or kittens before being subjected to new requirements and punitive measures;
Require pet dealers to give written notice at the time of sale advising the buyer to test their pet for "a number of genetic diseases". This introduces into statute language regarding genetics and prescribes expensive and unnecessary testing by consumers. If pursued, this testing could be used to demand refunds for a pet that isn't sick, as well as open the door for mandating genetic testing in the future.
NAIA Trust of Florida believes pet consumers deserve some measure of protection from unscrupulous dealers, but it is inappropriate and unrealistic to view living things like manufactured goods. Pet "lemon laws" that mandate "perfect world" solutions aimed at protecting consumers from every conceivable problem miss opportunities to educate pet buyers before they purchase a pet and are often difficult to enforce. To be effective, we feel consumer laws should reasonably reflect the obligations of both parties.
That is why NAIA offers an alternative approach; a workable solution that carefully and fairly addresses the needs of both buyer and seller. Click here to read our new NAIA Guide to Dog Friendly Consumer Laws (sorry - this link didn't work for me- I got an error message).
Please take a moment now to write your Senator, asking him or her to oppose SB 288 and consider taking a fresh approach to pet consumer protection. Use the talking points below as a guide, and feel free to share NAIA's model legislation. We also encourage you to send a copy of your message to Florida State Senator Larcenia Bullard so that she can witness the strong tide of opposition to this concept coming from people in communities across the state:
State Senator Larcenia J. Bullard
218 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Thank you for standing up for pets and pet owners by TAKING ACTION today!