Q: Can a dog breeder enforce a contract that was never mentioned before taking a monetary deposit?
My husband and I have been working with a breeder to purchase a puppy. In the beginning we were told "when he goes to his new home he will be current on vaccines and wormer, have his health check with our vet, AKC registration application, a puppy starter pack, and a genetic health guarantee". We moved forward and put our deposit down for the puppy. Days after the deposit was made we got an email with a contract stating that we would not have breeding rights, would have to get him neutered, and send photos every 6 months. I am wondering if this contract is able to be enforced since none of those stipulations were mentioned before we put our deposit down. I have the entire correspondence for proof. I am located in North Carolina and the breeder is located in Missouri.
A: The question is “what is your contract.” In other words, did you have an oral contract under which you paid the deposit? If so, then the breeder cannot add terms thereafter. You may be able to pursue a claim for breach of contract or violation of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act (our consumer protection statue) if the breeder won’t provide the dog.
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