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The Pennsylvania Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Wednesday (February 8) that would make several changes to the commonwealth’s consumer protection laws. The AKC believes that many of the changes in the bill as introduced are positive and would protect the rights of the seller and provide appropriate recourse for purchasers if there is a significant health issue with their new puppy.


Senate Bill 54 makes several changes to the consumer protection laws, including:

  • Changing the timeline from 10 days to 14 days for a dog to be determined to be clinically ill or to have died from an illness that renders the dog unfit for purchase.


  • Changing the timeline from 30 days to 90 days for a dog to have (or have died from) a congenital or hereditary defect that renders it unfit for purchase.
  • Clarifying that a dog may not be found unfit for purchase if:
    • The dog has intestinal or external parasites unless the dog is clinically ill or dies
    • The dog has an injury or illness likely contracted subsequent to the date of sale
    • The dog has a health problem that is disclosed by the seller in writing prior to the time of sale.  This disclosure must be signed by both the seller and purchaser.
  • Requiring “releasing agencies” (shelters, pounds, humane societies, rescues, etc.) to provide health certificates to new owners that would include a list of all vaccinations that have been administered to the dog (if known), a record of any known disease or illness the dog is currently or has ever been afflicted with and records of veterinary treatment, and information on any parasitical medicine that has been administered to the dog (if known).  The certificate must be signed by an authorized person from the releasing agency and include their name and address.

The AKC believes the timeline changes are reasonable, and appreciates the clarifications on how a dog should be determined as “unfit for purchase.”  These clarifications will protect sellers from being forced to provide restitution for minor, treatable health issues, or for situations disclosed in writing before the purchaser agrees to buy the dog.  It also allows for recourse should someone purchase a puppy that is severely ill or dies from an illness or defect that the puppy had prior to sale.

What You Can Do:

Contact the committee members today and express your opinion on Senate Bill 54:

Sen. Robert M. Tomlinson, Chair
Phone: (717) 787-5072

Sen. Lisa M. Boscola, Minority Chair
Phone: (717) 787-4236

Sen. Mario M. Scavello, Vice Chair
Phone: (717) 787-6123
Online contact form:

Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati, III, Ex-Officio
Phone: (717) 787-7084

Sen. Lisa Baker
Phone: (717) 787-7428

Sen. Camera Bartolotta
Phone: (717) 787-1463

Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
Phone: (717) 787-5662

Sen. Wayne D. Fontana
Phone: (717) 787-5300

Sen. John R. Gordner
Phone: (717) 787-8928
Online contact form:  

Sen. Steward J. Greenleaf (SB 54 sponsor)
Phone: (717) 787-6599

Sen. Arthur L. Haywood III
Phone: (717) 787-1427

Sen. Thomas H. Killion
Phone: (717) 787-4712
Online contact form:

Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr.
Phone: (717) 787-1398

Sen. Mike Regan
Phone: (717) 787-8524

Sen. John T. Yudichak
Phone: (717) 787-7105

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to monitor this legislation.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at