Dog Breeders’ Contracts: Pitfalls and Considerations

Citation: Curry LM. Dog breeders’ contracts: pitfalls and considerations. AKC Gazette. 2007 May; 124(5):16-7.

Location: Not available through the AKC, but a free online copy can be found here.

Favorite line: “Oral agreements are inherently problematic.”

Official abstract: Not available.

Rattery-relevant summary:

Everything should be in writing, even later amendments.  Word your contract carefully; watch for ambiguities.  Make everyone in the adoptive family sign.  Contracts can’t be enforced against those who didn’t sign.  Some clauses may not be legally enforcable (eg provide attention and veterinary care), but they may influence the adopter anyways.

Include disclaimers and warranties unless you wish to be subject to state laws.  Yet beware of warranties.  If not specifically mentioned, the courts might find the general purpose of a rat is for breeding, or a hairless that grows fuzz to be ‘defective’.  Stating that the animal is “sold only as a companion pet and is not guaranteed to be fit for breeding or any other purpose”, nor is it guaranteed to maintain the current condition may be a useful disclaimer.  If you know that the adopter has intentions for the pup, like showing or breeding, then the animal has a warranty of fitness for that purpose unless you specify something like that purpose if contemplated, but the rat “is sold merely as a prospect for that purpose without any guarantee of fitness for the contemplated purpose, or any other.”  While most breeders assure adopters that the pup had good health at time of adoption, it would be wise to state in your contract that you do not warranty that the rat will be forever free of illness or defects.  Going even more in depth, you could state that while you breed for good health, certain issues (eg respiratory problems or mammary tumors) may come up in the future and you do not warranty against them.

If the rat turns out to have issues later on, you can detail what you will do for the adopter – refund the purchase price?  replace the rat? – and when.

%d bloggers like this: