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Massachusetts Pet Lemon Law

dog wearing cone

Understanding Massachusetts’ Pet Purchaser Protection Laws:

Massachusetts statute 330 CMR 12.00 governs the sale of animals in the state from licensed pet shops. It does not apply to purchases from breeders or adoptions from animal shelters or rescues.

If a dog purchased from a licensed pet shop becomes ill, dies, or is found to have a congenital problem, consumers have two options.

  1. Return the animal for a full refund of the purchase price.
  2. Exchange the animal for one of similar value.

What to know about Massachusetts’ Pet Purchaser Protection Laws:

Time frame: Massachusetts’ law only protects consumers for a certain period of time. New pet owners should make sure to have their pet examined and act within the appropriate timeframe.

  • Consumers have 14 days following the purchase date to have a veterinarian declare the dog to be diseased or have a congenital defect.
  • Consumers have two days after the veterinarian's examination to return the animal to the licensed pet shop and present documentation of illness or defect from the veterinarian.

Documents: In Massachusetts, all pet shops must provide buyers with specific written information when they sell a pet. Buyers should be cautious of any dealer that does not provide the following information:

  • A copy of the dog’s medical records, which must includes vaccination details and any treatment history. This record must have been issued from the veterinarian no more than 14 days in advance of the sale.
  • A notice of the 14-day warranty required by Massachusetts’ law.