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I have a problem with a pet or animal that I’ve bought

When you buy a dog, cat or any other type of pet or animal from a trader the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that they should be;

  • In good health and free from any illness, hereditary or otherwise
  • Had all appropriate vaccinations with relevant paperwork to prove this
  • Come with any required documents (horse passport)
  • As described, any information provided about breed or pedigree should be accurate
  • Fit for purpose, for example if you ask for a dog that’s good with children or other animals but you find it to be aggressive around both then you can argue it’s not fit for purpose.

If shortly after buying a pet, you discover it has an illness or it dies you will have the same rights as you will have the same rights against the trader as you would for any other item bought.

Within the first 30 days

If it’s been 30 days or less since you bought the animal and it has taken ill or died then you can ask the trader to refund you in full, this is called your short term right to reject. You may have to prove that the animal was ill when it was sold to you.

You should be refunded within 14 days of the goods of returning the animal to the trader or informing them that it has died. Your refund should be by the same method that you paid for example if you paid in cash then you should normally expect a cash refund.  

After the first 30 days

You can also ask the trader to replace the animal, they should do this within a reasonable period of time and without causing you any significant inconvenience. If it’s not possible for them offer you another animal, then you can decide to keep the original animal and ask for a discount or return it to the trader for a refund.

Can I ask for a refund?

You’re only required to give the trader one opportunity to replace the animal. If this is not possible of you discover that there is an issue with the replacement animal then you can ask the trader to take it back and refund you, this is called your final right to reject.  

It’s important to note that if you’ve had the animal for more than 6 months then the trader may be entitled to offer only a partial refund.  You should be refunded within 14 days of the animal being returned to the trader and this should be by the same method that you paid.  

If you have any concerns for the welfare of animals that are being sold, you can report this to the Scottish SPCA

Veterinarian Costs

If you’ve incurred additional costs for the care of a sick animal that was sold to you then you could ask the trader to reimburse these costs also.

What should I do next?

If you haven’t already done so then you should try to speak with the trader about your problem to see if you can to come to an agreement. You can then follow this up with a more formal letter of complaint. It’s best to send this by signed for mail which will allow you to check that it’s been received, alternatively you could send an email with a read receipt. You should also give the trader a reasonable timescale to reply.

Last updated: 29 March 2019

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