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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I sold a healthy puppy at 8 weeks from a litter of 9 all

Customer Question

I sold a healthy puppy at 8 weeks from a litter of 9 all healthy. A week later the puppy died at vets who said it died from parvovirus and they bought it when infected. The owners want cost of puppy and all vets bills paid by me. Where do I stand in this matter?
Kinkest regards
Claire Simonetti
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Are you a commercial breeder?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not a commercial breeder
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How many litters have you had in the past year?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have had 2 litters
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

And the year before that?

it is very easy to be considered a commercial breeder and that triggers different duties.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have had 7 litters in 20 years
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Proceeding on the basis that you are not a commercial breeder you are not bound by the CRA and so they cannot argue that this puppy was not fit for purpose.

They could drop down upon the general law of contract and argue that anything sold contains an implied term that it would be of a satisfactory quality. That is always hard to quantify with lifestock but if a puppy dies within the first year of an ailment that isn't something like an accident then realistically they would get over that hurdle.

If they can argue that CRA does apply then they can rely on fitness for use and clear this puppy would sadly fail.

Even if the puppy had been healthy when you sold him there was clearly a condition I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To clarify - Would I be bound for vets fees and refund of puppy or just the cost of the puppy.
Secondly, the disease it died from is highly contagious and none of the other puppies are or have shown any signs of illnessKindest regardsClaire
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You would be liable for a refund but not vet’s bills if you were a commercial seller.

If you were a private seller and they can convince a Judge that the implicit term applies then you would be liable for both.

If this is a contagious disease though then you could put them to proof over who the puppy came into contact. If it is something like kennel cough or parvo then probably that will be attributed to you. If it is something else and they didn’t complete the vaccination course, for instance, then probably not.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, you are very kind, but I just can not understand how such a highly contagious disease as parvo only infected one puppy. I will be unable to pay all of this so can I arrange a payment plan or would this have to go to the small claims court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You could make a payment offer. They might accept that.

Is it parvo?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have my doubts. When I spoke to the owner 2 days later the puppy was fine. They took it to the vets for routine jabs and mentioned puppy would not eat or drink. Vet said puppy had to stay until Monday she gave it fluids and antibiotics and had to get a testing kit from another vet. The puppy took a turn for the worse on Sunday and they put him down. The vet had to look up incubation time for parvo and said it must have had it when it came as it was 2 to 4 days. However there are lots of diseases with similar symptoms which they failed to test for, such as Giardia, Campilobactor and Salomella. My dogs are my life and I would never let a sick puppy leave me as this would cause puppy undue stress. There was never a moment that this litter were not bright and active as they should be. I think there has been a misdiagnosis by a non too bright a vet.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How long did they have the puppy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They had it for 7 days and none if the litter is ill and parvo is highly contagious. When I spoke to the the owner after a couple of days after having taken the pup she said how
wonderful and energetic he was and almost fully house trained. They had fed him raw chicken which they had left out so it was not to cold for his system This makes me sure was a case of salmonella as the symptoms are almost identical to parvo.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You would be entitled to prove that it was parvo.

The problem here is that there are arguments on both sides. It is quite unlikely that he would be the only puppy in a litter with parvo but then equally they did only have this dog for a very short period of time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Jo you have been very kind. I will offer to pay the money back for the puppy when I have the funds.
They are going to scan vets report/bill to me and I shall be able to see if they took a blood sample for white cells, if not an Elisa test is not enough to prove parvo.As I said they fed him on raw chicken so it is (in my mind) it is salmonella or E-coli.
In your opinion do I have any chance of proving he was not ill when he left here?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It doesn't matter whether he will symptomatic when he left. The issue is whether he had the condition.

If he had parvo when he died then probably he did.

If that isn't what the vet's report said then that is different.