Greenleaf bill strengthens PA Puppy Lemon Law

Tom Waring, the Wire

The Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure last week approved Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf’s Senate Bill 22 to strengthen the state’s Puppy Lemon Law.

SB 22 would strengthen the Puppy Lemon Law enacted in 1997 in a number of ways in order to better help consumers recover losses from a seller of a sick dog.

Under the current statute, consumers may seek reimbursement only for the treatment of curable conditions. SB 22 would expand consumers’ rights to seek reimbursement for the treatment of incurable conditions, such as hip dysplasia.

SB 22 amends the current Puppy Lemon Law to also extend the time period that hereditary congenital conditions may be certified by a vet from 30 to 90 days after purchase; extend the time period to certify a contagious or infectious disease from 10 to 14 days after purchase; increase the time period consumers have to notify the seller that a veterinarian has certified their dog’s illness or condition from two to five days; and require a releasing agency (such as a shelter) to provide the new owner with health records for the dog at the time of adoption.

“The legislation is not only a consumer protection issue,” Greenleaf said. “SB 22 also takes aim at puppy mills and inhumane and irresponsible pet breeding practices in Pennsylvania. By empowering consumers to recover money from the seller, we take away the profits of unscrupulous dog breeders.”

SB 22 may now be considered by the full Senate.