According to the Kennel Club UK, a quarter of new owners admit buying a puppy during the Covid-19 pandemic and one in four pandemic puppy buyers admit they could have unintentionally bought from a puppy farm. From my authorised one walk a day during lockdown, I couldn’t help but notice the sheer number of puppies…and bike enthusiasts. The future is bright for Scottish representation at Crufts and the Tour de France but like any purchase we make, what are your rights if things go wrong?
As much as we pet owners might not want to think, our puppies are considered ‘goods’. This means you, as a consumer, have some degree of protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“the Act”).
If you purchased your puppy from a business seller, the Act states that the goods (puppy) must be of satisfactory quality, be fit for a particular purpose and be as described. If these rights are breached, you may be entitled to reject the puppy and receive a refund or request a replacement.
If the breeder’s intention is to make money, then they are a business seller, and the above rights would apply.
If you buy a puppy from a private seller, your rights lessen.
Common law misrepresentation could also provide protection to new puppy owners. This means that a seller must not misrepresent your puppy and tell you something about your new four legged ‘goods’ that isn’t right. An example could be if the puppy is from a puppy farm, the seller can’t tell you it was raised in a family home.
In addition, the seller must accurately describe the puppy. For example, a seller can’t say a miniature dachshund when it turns out to be a standard dachshund. If the seller says the puppy is well socialised, but you take it home and is problematic around children and other dogs, the puppy is not as described in the advert. This also extends to your puppies health. If the seller advertises your puppy as being healthy and it turns out your puppy has a genetic condition (which the sellers own dog/bitch had), then this could also be considered misrepresentation. If the seller has misrepresented the sale, they will be in breach of contract and damages may be awarded.
If you have had problems following a purchase of your new puppy, or any goods, please contact our specialist Dispute Resolution team at Jackson Boyd Lawyers today