Laws & Paws

Put it in Writing


For many reasons responsible breeders are well advised to utilize a written contract any time a puppy or dog leaves their home, whether a show puppy, a companion puppy, an older dog being rehomed, or perhaps a dog or bitch going out on a co-ownership or breeding agreement. Contracts protect not only the breeder, but also the buyer or co-owner, and most importantly the dog itself. Here, 10 reasons why breeders need written contracts:

1. Because the law requires it  

New Jersey and some other states require that a breeder who sells a puppy  give the buyer certain documentation or a “bill of sale.” Certain states, including California and New Jersey, require that the breeder provide the buyer with a good deal of information — and what better place to put it than in your written contract. For example, California statutes provide that “every pet dealer shall deliver to the purchaser of each dog and cat at the time of sale a written statement in a standardized form prescribed by the Department of Consumer Affairs.” The statute then lists all the information which must be contained in the document, including (but not limited to)... “the breeder’s name and address… the date of the dog’s birth... If the dog is being sold as being capable of registration, the names and registration numbers of the sire and dam, and the litter number, if known ... [and] a record of any veterinarian treatment or medication received by the dog while in the possession of the pet dealer.”

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