Puppy Lemon Law Would Protect Families Who Unknowingly Buy Sick

By: Jorge Rodas Email
By: Jorge Rodas Email

STATELINE (WIFR) – Some pet stores are selling puppies and kittens knowing they’ll require expensive trips to the vet. The Illinois legislature is now trying to hold these stores accountable by considering the Puppy Lemon Law.

It already passed through the Senate and is now in the House. One local family says this is one bill that must be approved.

“He follows me…like…every single day,” Caleb Piazza said about his new puppy Elvis who joined the family a few weeks ago. While Caleb is smiling tonight, he was crying early last month when his first new puppy Delilah died.

“We were so ready for a dog,” Caleb said. “First I was perfectly calm, then I started to realize…and cried.”

The Piazza family says they lost their puppy one week after they got her. Vets told them she was likely Hypoglycemic. Caleb’s mother Fallon Piazza says the pet store offered her two choices after Delilah passed. Those were a new dog or store credit. All Fallon wanted was a refund.

The store refused.

“Basically I’m supposed to keep making payments on a dog that I had not even a week,” the mother of two said. “It just makes no sense to me.”

The Illinois State Senate passed a measure that would help pet owners like Fallon get their money back. It's called the Puppy Lemon Law. The bill would force pet stores to give consumers a replacement pet or refund their money if the pet dies within 21 days of them buying it.

“Most pet stores already do that,” State Senator Dave Syverson said. “They stand buy what they sell and they’re really concerned about making sure that a person gets a healthy, viable pet.”

Fallon says that’s not what the pet store she’s dealing with did.

“It just stinks to know that you can’t trust certain local business,” she said.

Fallon says her family still grieves over Delilah’s passing, but their new puppy Elvis is healthy, and he brings smiles to their faces daily.

She also says she’s considering suing the pet store she bought Delilah from, but hope it doesn't come to that.

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