Vienna, VA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Missouri

Q: My puppy has to be put down due to severe behavioral issues they were born with. Can I sue the breeder?

We purchased a puppy from a breeder in MO (were in a different state) that advertises family friendly dogs. Our vet behaviorist confirmed our pup was born was severe behavioral issues (anxiety, aggression, and more). Many trainers also agree. Puppy is unresponsive to meds, and due to the severity and aggression, the only option at this point is euthanasia. The contract gives a 1 yr health guarantee for genetic defects that make a dog an unsuitable family pet (we’re still within six months). The puppy is too aggressive to be ethically rehomed. we do not want another puppy (too traumatized) just a refund or maybe even more for damages to help cover all the costs for doctors, trainers, meds, and the euthanasia.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Unless your contract contains an arbitration clause, then of course you may sue the breeder, assuming you are willing and able to pay to litigate in Missouri. Have an attorney review the contract and assess whether you'd have a strong claim. Sorry that your pub isn't what you expected or desired.

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