Proposed refund for sick pet store animals

May 1, 2013

Senators in Illinois voted to give consumer protections to people who unknowingly buy a sick cat or dog from a pet shop.

It comes after news last year that a chain of Chicago pet stores sold puppies without warning buyers that they'd been exposed to a potentially-deadly canine disease.  Democratic Senator Dan Kotowski says consumers don't currently have recourse if they buy a sick animal.

 "It's going to make sure we prevent the spread of illness and disease with pets, but we also make sure that people have an opportunity to buy healthy pets, and get reimbursed and get a remedy if the dog or cat is not healthy when they buy it."

 The plan also requires pet shops to notify customers if there's an outbreak of a contagious disease.Advocates say pet stores frequently buy their stock from "puppy mills", where disease is more common.But critics say it should apply to animal shelters and breeders too.