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Summary of CT’s Major Pet Shop Laws

Sec. 22-344b. 

  1. Veterinary Care. Pet shops must have animals examined by a veterinarian prior to being offered for sale, and then at 15 –day intervals until sold.

  2. Pet lemon law. Under Connecticut’s “pet lemon law” if a puppy becomes ill or dies soon after purchase, the consumer is entitled to compensation from the pet shop.

a. The law applies in 2 scenarios:
1) within 20 days of purchase the cat or dog becomes ill or dies due to illness contracted at the pet shop, or
2) within 6 months of purchase the cat or dog is diagnosed with a significant congenital defect.

b. In either case, the consumer has two options:
1) submit their veterinary care receipts to the pet shop for reimbursement, up to the purchase price of the cat or dog. If the pet was purchased for under $500, the maximum reimbursement amount is $500.
2) Return the cat or dog for a full refund, or have the animal replaced. (Please see full statute referenced above for complete details) In both cases the consumer must have a letter from the veterinarian regarding the illness in order to receive compensation.

c. Pet shops must post signage in large lettering regarding the pet lemon law, and also provide a copy to customers at time of purchase.

3. General signage. Each puppy cage must have a 3 x 5 card attached to it with breeder’s name and address listed. There must also be a larger general sign explaining to the public that further details on the origin and health of each puppy is available on request. For each puppy offered for sale there should be 2 years’ worth of USDA inspection reports for the breeder who supplied the puppy, which must be posted on or near the cage.

4. Puppy origins. All dogs and cats sold in pet shops must originate from breeders who are USDA licensed, and have no direct violations of the Animal Welfare Act, nor more than 2 indirect violations within the past two years. If a broker is being used, the broker must also meet this criteria. The fine for violating this provision is up to $1,000 for each day a pet shop is in violation.


For any pet shop complaint, including sick puppies, please call the State Dept of Agriculture, Animal Control Division. (860) 713-2506 Be prepared to give exact details on what you observed in the pet shop, including date and time.

Consult statutes for full details.  Many pet shops in CT have thankfully closed, but several are still open, including the All Pets stores, The Dog House in Manchester, Puppies of Westport in Norwalk, Statewide Pets in Orange, Gentle Jungle in Meriden, Safari Stan's in New Haven, American Breeders in Danbury, and Puppy Love also in Danbury.

Sad Dog
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