Pet stores now required to disclose animal health history
SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is reminding the public about a new law effective Jan. 1, 2011, designed to protect consumers by requiring pet stores, animal shelters and animal controls to disclose certain information before they sell or adopt out cats and dogs.
“Consumers have a right to know where an animal was bred or whether it has chronic medical problems before they buy it,” Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said. “This new law strengthens the state’s Animal Welfare Act and makes sure consumers receive the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.”
Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 5772 (Public Act 96-1470) into law last August. It requires pet stores, animal shelters and animal controls to disclose the following information on or near an animal’s cage:
• Retail price, including additional charges
• Breed, age, date of birth, sex and color of the dog or cat
• Details of vaccinations and health history
• Name, address and identification number of the breeder
• Details of any inoculation or medical treatment received while at the facility
Consumers also must receive a copy of the information at the time of purchase. The law recognizes animal shelters and animal controls, which often care for strays, may not possess an animal’s complete medical history and allows them to estimate some information.
Currently, pet stores are required to disclose this information if it is requested by the consumer, but it is unclear when the information must be disclosed. Thus, some pet stores do not share it until after the sale is final.