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JoAnna Lou
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Illinois Signs Puppy Lemon Law
Effective Jan. 1, pet stores will be on the hook for sick animals
Last weekend, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation making Illinois the 21st state to have a "puppy lemon law." The original bill was sparked, in part, by a distemper outbreak that resulted in the deaths of several puppies in at least two Chicago area pet stores last year.
 
Supporters hope that the law will encourage pet stores to maintain a higher standard of health and protect people who inadvertently buy sick animals. A secondary goal is to make selling puppy mill pets a less desirable business model, encouraging stores to stop selling animals.
 
Illinois' law, which takes effect January 1st, will allow people to receive reimbursement for veterinary costs up to 21 days after purchase if the animal was sick at the time of sale and one year after purchase if a genetic condition is discovered.  If a pet dies within 21 days, the store must provide a full refund of the purchase price. 
 
The law also requires pet stores to report disease outbreaks to the state Department of Agriculture and inform customers who purchased a dog or cat within two weeks of the outbreak.  
 
I think Illinois' new law, and other states' "puppy lemon laws" are a step in the right direction, however, the penalties are too limited to force pet stores or puppy mills to care about the health of their animals.  
 
Most states only cover veterinary costs up to the price of the pet (typically under $3,000, and we all know vet care can easily exceed that number). It's also common to allow stores to replace a sick animal with a healthy one. This doesn't make a lot of sense since no one wants to return a pet that they've already become attached to and no one would want to get another pet from a store with sick animals. This just highlights the struggle in dealing with stores that view animals as merchandise.  
 
I was happy to see Illinois' one year policy on genetic conditions. They are the only state with such a provision. Since many puppy mill dogs end up with genetic illnesses (though many develop after one year of age), I hope more states will follow suit.
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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by nWevurski/flickr.

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Submitted by Maces Malinois ... | September 24 2013 |

We contacted Eric Wilson of Mastock Malinois about a litter of Belgian Malinois puppies.We located Mr. Wilson on the internet and liked the looks of the parents.I have been involved with Malinois for 30 years.I decided to b uy 6 of his 8 week old puppies from his stud dog Blaze (Bokers Littermate)

I paid a required deposit and made the trip to Batavia Ill. on April 7th 2013.The location was a dog grooming business named Woof Beach in Batavia Ill.When i arrived at the location and viewed the puppies.I was concerned that they only weighed 5# normal weight is 12-14 pounds.

I questioned the health and the size and was told all my lines start out small and they are all vet checked and ready to go.I finished paying the balance at the time of pickup.These puppies at this time were infected with Parvo.Mr. Wilson and his partner Aaron Rice were well aware these 6 pups were infected,

Apon my return trip home I met with many families for the delivery of there new pups.Two days later the nightmare began and all the puppies were infected with Parvo. As families rushed to save their puppies at their local Vet.But to no avail.All the puppies died within 1 week of pickup.The vet bills for 1 puppy were over 7k

Mr. Wilson and Aaron Rice have done nothing at all.They refuse contact and have no intention of standing behind their contract. It was stated by 4 different animal hospitals that the puppies were infected with Parvo before my trip to Batavia.Even knowing this they are still selling puppies from this location.The Dept. of Animal health in Ill. has written them many summons for offenses .Including operating a business with no liscene.Parvo is a killer and few dogs stand a chance agaisn"t it.All the shot records for the puppies was falsified and no shots were given.

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