Did you know that more than two out of every three Australian households have a pet of some kind? This makes the country one of the most "pet friendly" in the entire world, with millions of dogs, cats and other furry friends sharing homes. You may be considering joining their number and are on the lookout for a candidate. This can be a tricky process, so what do you need to bear in mind as you look for your new family member?
Remember that you have a number of protections as a consumer when you're in the market to buy a new pet. In fact, this transaction is no different to any other consumer transaction under the law. You need to be looking for specific guarantees from the vendor.
When you are supplied with a cat or dog for domestic purposes, you should ensure that the animal is fitted with a microchip before you get it. This is applicable across the board, no matter the age of the pet when you purchase. The seller is then obliged to contact the local government and the service that maintains the microchip database, to notify them of the transfer and sale within one week.
You have a right to insist on 'acceptable quality' whenever you get a new pet. This means that the pet should be in good health and likely to survive for what could considered to be a 'reasonable' time.
If you bought a specific type of dog with the intention of using it for a pastime such as hunting, then the dog must be fit for that particular type of purpose. Make sure that you mentioned this to the seller during the negotiation. The seller is obliged to tell you whether they think that the dog would be good in this situation.
Within reason, the pet must always look like any visible example or description you were given.
What to Do If Not Satisfied
You always have a right to pursue the seller for an adequate remedy if you feel that your purchase has not matched any of these guarantees. You may also feel that there is something behind-the-scenes as well, and that these animals may not be part of a robust and legal breeding and distribution network. If so, then you may wish to work with an animal lawyer. Once you have a pet, you may also need an animal lawyer if for some reason your dog is involved in legal troubles.