Just in time to accommodate holiday-shopper traffic, the Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services (FACS) has announced it will conduct a thorough review of state pet stores until the end of the year to ensure that consumer protection regulations are being met.
Primarily, the FACS will be checking to ensure that retailers are meeting the requirements of a state statute which mandates that dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old when put up for sale, First Coast News reports.
In addition, to ensure high quality pet health, all animals sold must be accompanied by a Florida certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian, which documents vaccinations, tests and treatments.
"It’s important to do business with a reputable pet store or dealer who knows and follows the law to avoid problems after a purchase of an animal," FACS commissioner Charles Bronson told the news source.
Under state ordinances, buyers have 14 days to return or exchange any pet if a veterinarian finds it has a health problem.
According to Bronson, the FACS has secured nearly $80,000 in restitution over the past four years for people who have been sold unhealthy pets.
The American Pet Products Association estimates that $45.5 billion will be spent on pets in the U.S. in 2009.