Consumers who purchase a pet from a dealer have three options if the animal is declared unfit by a licensed veterinarian within a given period:
- Return the animal - Consumers can return their pet to the dealer and receive a full refund, including sales tax, as well as reimbursement for the cost of having the animal certified unfit.
- Exchange the animal - They can exchange the animal for another one of similar value and receive reimbursement for having the original dog certified as unfit.
- Keep the animal - They may keep the animal and receive reimbursement for veterinary costs associated with treating it for the disease or defect. Reimbursement is capped at the purchase price of the animal.
Here is a link to the full text of the “lemon law”: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/GBS/A35-D. Another version is on the Consumer Affairs website page on pet purchaser protection: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/lemon_ny.html.
The form that veterinarians can sign to certify that animals are not fit for sale is attached. There's also an online complaint form for owners.