Skip to content

Lemon Laws for Pet Store Sales: That’s NOT the Solution: Say NO to Naperville’s Proposal


Remember this:

No responsible breeder EVER EVER EVER sells to a pet store.

Some communities suggest, “Can’t we just have a ‘lemon law’ to protect consumers?”

Well here are problems with an idea, and at one time it seemed like the lemon laws were a viable compromise. I was wrong.

‘Lemon laws’ only encourage pet stores to continue to buy from their sources, “puppy brokers,” puppy mills and other large-scale facilities.

Lemon laws do give consumers recourse, yes. However, lemon laws were created for products like automobiles and for washing machines. It may have been acceptable 25 years ago to group pets into that category, but pets are living beings with real feelings and emotions similar to our own. They are not like automobiles and washing machines. Also, people do fall in love with what they purchase and develop an emotional connection, which rarely happens with washing machines. They don’t necessarily want to return that animal. And if they do return the animal, what happens to that individual? If medical care is required will that individual receive it? I shudder to think what happens to a dog or cat that is returned to a pet store, even with a treatable medical and/or behavioral condition.

So FAR FAR FAR better if dogs and cats can’t be sold at pet stores in the first place.

Naperville, IL is now considering 48 month warranty for congenital and hereditary illnesses. I sounds good to those who may not think about it. The payout would be the purchase price of the dog if the pet owner can PROVE that the case.

This leaves out the entire category of emotional/behavioral problems pets at pet stores may have, and behavior (in general – no matter where a pet is from) is a major explanation for relinquishment.

I’m unsure if the proposal would consider returning all the veterinary costs involved to determine what is wrong with the pet.

But it doesn’t matter, this is not a humane solution. By suggesting pets are like washing machines, rolls back the clock 25 years. Also, proving “congenital” can be challenging. How would this actually be enforced? And most of all, the pet stores will still be selling animals from awful sources, as this only serves to buoy puppy mills and brokers to continue to supply animals.

I do suggest the pet store industry sees the writing on the wall, feeling they need to do something. But this solution is no solution whatsoever. Aside from being unfair to consumers,  it’s mostly unfair to the animals.

I am all for seeking real solutions and working together with the pet store industry. But this approach not an answer.

This is a big deal because if this “trick” manages to pass in Naperville, the pet stores will attempt to replicate elsewhere.

Please speak up and speak out,

Here’s where you can contact officials in Naperville.

Lots more on the Go Humane Naperville Facebook Page.





Get My Newsletter!

Keep up with the latest pet news with the EXCLUSIVE STEVE DALE NEWSLETTER!

So, Who is Steve Dale?


Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

Book Credits

Learn more about the numerous books Steve has contributed to and authored!

Article Archive

Interested in reading past articles? Just use the dropdown to select a topic!



Like Us on Facebook

Follow Steve Dale on Social Media!

© Steve Dale All Rights Reserved


Steve Dale Pet World