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Home Invasion! Virginia State Inspectors and Animal Control demand puppy sales records, contracts, health, veterinary records on hobby breeders who sell just one puppy!





"Judy" ( subscriber) October 2002


I am writing to warn readers they may be receiving a visit from a Virginia State Inspector from the Agricultural and Consumers Services Department. Their goal is to "inspect dealers who breed and sell 'registered dogs and cats.'" You are considered a "dog dealer" if you sell just one pup.


A very good friend of mine had just such a visit. The Virginia Inspector came into her home today carrying a Virginia Breeders Federation book, the one that most of the vets in the state have available. He proceeded to highlight her name and address in the book after his inspection was completed. She could see that he had other names highlighted also and asked how he decided to inspect.


The state inspector said that he is not allowed to inspect "dealers" on the basis of pet advertisements in the newspapers. My friend immediately tried to reason with him, saying dog breeders listed in the Federation book are trying to do everything correctly, but most of the people in the newspapers don't have a clue.


If you receive a visit from one of the state inspectors, you must show your animal's living quarters, medical and vaccine records, sales records, exercise areas, etc, etc,. The inspector will review every record and sales contract.


The inspector said that he has to find the address published or see signs posted, to determine who gets inspected. They can also receive tips from anyone who will provide the information including names and addresses.  I hope your neighbors like you.


He gave her a copy of the current laws covering animals in the state of Virginia. The booklet is titled, 2000-2001 Virginia Comprehensive Animal Laws, distributed by the Agriculture and Consumer Services Department. You may want to have someone else order a copy of the booklet so that the state will not have your address.


Some of the laws that he reviewed today were mind-boggling. You think that you have a good sales contract written for your puppy sales? You'll find out if you are inspected. Some of the current laws covering sales are:

  • Health records must be part of contract, not just a copy of vet records or your records. The information must be included in the body of the sales contract.

  • You must include 59.1-196 seq. of the Consumers Protection Act in the body of the sales contract. I think she said that it was 2 paragraphs long.

  • The contract must allow for the animal to be returned no less than 10 days from the purchase date if found "unhealthy".

  • Sit down, there's more to this one: The buyer is allowed to take the animal to the vet and if found unhealthy within the 10 days from purchase, the animal may be returned for a full refund or the buyer may choose another animal as a replacement, buyer's choice! That's right, the seller does not get to offer a replacement, the buyer gets to pick which one they want that is of "equal" value of the original animal that is being returned.

  • You cannot vaccinate within 5 days of selling a dog.

  • Here's a good one for you: The contract must state that the Registration Papers must be provided to the buyer within 120 days from the purchase date. If the papers are not provided, the dog can be returned for a full refund or the buyer can keep the dog and receive a 50% refund, buyer's choice. My friend forgot to ask what would happen if the papers were being held until the animal is neutered and it was more than 120 days.

  • You must keep a "proper animal history certificate" for one year from the date of sale. It must include all details of the animal including the registration information.

  • The buyers must sign the contract at least 2 times, once for receiving the animal's health record, as part of the contract, and a second time stating they received the 59.1-196 seq. of the Consumers Protection Act in the body of the sales contract. You can have the buyer sign the contract for any other terms that you want to include in your contract. That will make 3 times the buyer will sign the contract.

  • Currently, no pup under 7 weeks of age can be sold in VA. The inspector will write up a report and ask you to sign it. Oh, by the way, the inspector is a veterinarian. He marked on my friend's report "First Visit". We're guessing he will be back.

I hope that this information will help you prepare for a visit from the state inspector. I do suggest that you order a copy of the booklet covering the current laws to get all of this information in detail. His unscheduled visit lasted over 3 hours. He also told her that he had been at her house before but she wasn't there. I guess they will keep coming back until they catch you.


Before leaving, the inspector asked her if she knew of any other "dealers" in the area.  Of course she said that she didn't know of any except for Pauley's Pups that has a store on Rt 1 in Ashland.


He said that Pauley's Pups does everything by the law, wouldn't you know it, a puppy mill outlet! The inspector said that Pauley's gets their pups from local Va. breeders, not from out of state puppy mills. Can you believe this??


Please excuse my sloppy writing skills. I've typed this as fast as I could, and I didn't have time to edit and clean it up because I just received the details.  ~ Judy EST 1998 © 1211162s1810



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