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Monday, March 25, 2019

The Maine Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry held a hearing March 19th on LD 1049, which seeks to provide alternative consumer protection remedies for a buyer of a dog with a life expectancy of less than one year, along with other remedies for a dog with a life expectancy of one to five years, as determined by a veterinarian.  Senator Luchini, sponsor of LD 1049, filed the bill on behalf of a constituent and testified at the hearing that he believed extending remedies for up to five years to purchasers of dogs with health problems caused by hereditary or congenital defects was unreasonable.

On Thursday, the 28th, the committee will specifically discuss whether to allow a purchaser to keep a dog considered “unfit for sale” in the first year and obtain a 100% refund from the seller.

The American Kennel Club supports reasonable laws and regulations intended to protect the pet-buying public in obtaining a sound dog of the breed represented.  Breeders and/or sellers should be responsible for providing certain refunds, replacements, or reimbursements should the dog sold become ill or die from a condition contracted prior to the purchase. Such remedies should be conditioned upon the buyer’s scrupulous adherence to the care and feeding program prescribed by the breeder and/or seller, as well as a timely examination by a state licensed veterinarian. Breeders and/or sellers should provide buyers with a written bill of sale detailing the responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. This bill of sale should also detail any exclusions to refunds, replacements, or reimbursements.

The American Kennel Club believes that Maine’s current consumer protections—as provided in Title 7, Part 9, Chapter 745, regarding the Sale of Dogs and Cats—already appropriately and reasonably address the needs of purchasers.  Current consumer protections allow a buyer three options:

  1. Keep the dog with a 50% refund of the purchase price
  2. Obtain a replacement dog
  3. Return the dog for a full refund

The committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 28, 2019 to vote.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Concerned residents are encouraged to contact the members of the committee to directly express concerns.  Send your concerns about LD 1049 to ACF@legislature.maine.gov

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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