July 2005


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Gwyn Diddally <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 18 Jul 2005 11:28:54 -0400
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>Do you know of any legal challenges to such contracts, and did the contract
>hold up?

A lady on one of my other lists - Marla from Legendhold Collies - went
through the process once, though from the sound of things she worked really
hard on what was in her contract.  This is what she had to say:

"If you have written a good pet contract, which is a real legal document
and contact between two parties stipulating a condition for a sale of an
"item" (in this case a puppy which is an "item" or "possession" in a court
of law still - well until the AR's get their way but that is another topic
for later), then is is enforceable.

If written correctly, a pet/spay/neuter contract will stand up in court.
Make sure you have your contract reviewed by a lawyer if you wonder about
the wording or content of your contracts. It might be the best $100 you ever

Then, if you have to, you go to the court house listed in your contract,
put down $500 as a retainer and file a civil suit. Get yourself a lawyer
and plan to pay about $100 a hour for them to file your legal proceedings.
Have them draft up and send a scathing letter listing the points of the
contract they are in volition of, and follow through with your penalty phase
in your contract. Either they return the pup (at this point I would insist
it is returned because of possible retaliation), follow the contract, or
they get to come to court and battle it out in front of the judge.
Put a penalty clause in your contract for breach of contract and make it
big (Mine is $3000). Don't just threaten and never act or follow through
with your threats, or you will get no place, just do it. Use the penalty as
a bargaining chip (Your Honor: "I won't ask for the $3000 for breach of
contract if I get the pup back and if I don't have to refund the owner the
purchase price because they knew the situations when they purchased the
puppy")...It generally works with the judge giving the buyer a "save face"
option as most judges will not go for a breach of contract this high without
you proving fraudulent or malicious intent at the time of purchase -- which
is difficult. However, enforce it if there is some cause to do so (i.e.
they already bred a litter out of the dog - that constitutes fraudulent or
malicious intent at the time of purchase) etc.
I have had to do this ONCE with a person with one of my pups and I did
win. It cost me $500 in the long run, but it was worth it for peace of mind
and I know my pup is now in a MUCH better home.

Your other option is to do early spay/neuter on pups you know are not
going to make it as a show pup. I've done that too now with two litters.
I'd be happy to discuss that with anyone who wants more information on that.

Contracts can be enforced but is is a real head-ache and you hope you can
screen a puppy buyer well enough that it never comes to this, but
unfortunately, that's not always the case even for the most experienced
among us."

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