You’ve heard of lemon laws for cars, but how about one for pets? Illinois’s new “puppy lemon law” is aimed at pet stores, who often sell sick and abused animals who were raised in breeding facilities known as “puppy mills”, where profits are emphasized above the welfare of animals. Kristen Strawbridge, Illinois director for the Human Society of the United States, says it offers financial protection for families who bring home one of these pets.
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“Pet store puppies are often sick because the majority of them come from puppy mills,” Strawbridge said. “Now, pet stores that sell sick puppies to consumers will be held accountable.” If a licensed veterinarian determines the animal was sick or diseased when purchased, the law gives families the option of a full refund, exchange, or compensation for veterinary costs. Pet stores will also be required to provide the medical history of each pet they sell. The law, which goes into effect January 1st, does not apply to non-profit animal shelters.