New York State's Pet Lemon Law was created to assist the public and to ensure the appropriate treatment of dogs and cats by requiring pet brokers to guarantee the good health of any such animal sold by a pet broker to a consumer.
- An animal is considered unfit for purchase under the law when a licensed veterinarian determines that the dog or cat has an illness, a congenital malformation that adversely affects the health of the animal, or the animal exhibits symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease. Any injury sustained or illness contracted after the purchase of the animal will not cause that animal to be considered unfit.
-If the dog or cat is certified as unfit for purchase, the broker must offer one of the following remedies. One remedy is the right to return the animal for a full refund including the costs associated with the veterinarian's certification that the animal is unfit for purchase. A second remedy is the exchange for an equivalently-valued animal plus reasonable veterinary costs. The third remedy is the right to retain the animal and receive a reimbursement for veterinary services from a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of curing or attempting to cure the animal. This fee shall not exceed the purchase price of the animal and does not include any fee not related to the certification of the animal's unfitness for purchase.
-Consumers have a time limit within which they can invoke the Lemon Law. Consumers have fourteen days following the sale of the animal or receipt of the printed consumer rights notice that sellers are required to provide, whichever occurs later, to obtain a veterinarian certification of unfitness for purchase. Once the consumer receives notice from the veterinarian that the animal is unfit for purchase, that certification must be presented to the broker within three days. The broker will have no more than ten business days to refund, exchange or reimburse the consumer once the dealer receives the signed veterinary certification of unfitness. The broker may contest the claim by the consumer by requiring the consumer to present the animal for examination by a licensed veterinarian designated by the dealer.