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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Default Can a Dog Breeder Rescind a Contract for the Sale of a Dog

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: California


    -Put down $1,000 deposit for show puppy over a year ago with a breeder in California

    -Seller had 1 breeding that didn't take, 2nd breeding 6 months later produced 1 dog, which we wanted. We proceeded to give the seller the other $1,500 for the animal with the understanding we would pick the dog up at 12 weeks

    -Seller sent contract stating we had purchased the animal. Seller provided an endless stream of text messages and emails with pictures of the dog claiming it was ours.

    -Seller contacted me today to state she was no longer giving me the dog because of seller's "medical issues". In truth, seller simply doesn't want to give up the dog because the dog has turned out better than she expected, and she anticipates turning it into a very profitable show dog

    -I (buyer) offered various remedies, including assisting seller with a future breeding of her existing dog while she's recovering from shoulder surgery or pick of litter should we ever decide to breed the dog.

    -Seller was not willing to come to a compromise, and claims she can simply wash her hands of us by sending us back the $2,500, $1000 of which she's had for over a year and $1,500 of which she's had for 2 months

    I have a contract that says the dog is mine, god knows how many text messages affirming the dog is mine. I've paid for the dog in full. I want the dog. I've been waiting over 3 years for this animal and turned down numerous other opportunities for a fur baby explicitly to work with this breeder, which I now understand to be a monumental mistake.

    My question is, do I have legal remedy to get an injunction or to force the seller to give me the dog? I understand in the eyes of the law, a dog is considered property, and by that metric, the property belongs to me but is merely under the seller's present stewardship. I don't care about the money, I was interested in getting into showing. There's an obvious breach of contract issue at play here, but I want to make sure my remedies aren't merely monetary (especially since damages are almost impossible to calculate given the future worth of the dog) and I can demand my property be given to me before pushing this matter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Purchased Show Dog from Seller, They Want to Renege. Options

    Does the contract contain any language regarding either party's right to breach it?

    You need to have the contract reviewed by an attorney to determine what, if any, action you can take. At the end of the day, you would have to sue to enforce the contract.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Can a Dog Breeder Rescind a Contract for the Sale of a Dog

    As frr9man indicates, you need to first read your contract to see if it allows the seller to cancel the sale and, if so, under what conditions. Assuming you can prove a breach of contract, you can sue in small claims court for an order that would compel the dog breeder to turn the dog over to you, pursuant to the terms of the contract. California is among the minority of states that allow for such an action in small claims court.

    I can't promise that you'll succeed, but that is an option.

    Otherwise, you would be in the difficult position of trying to prove contract damages, that the dog is objectively worth more than you contracted to pay, and your remedy would be to recover the difference in value that you are able to prove in court. I suspect that by the time you find qualified experts to opine as to the value of the dog, your investment of time and money would likely meet or exceed any additional amount that the seller is ordered to pay to you -- and even if you assume a legal victory you would still have to collect that judgment.

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