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Puppy contracts

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Jenny Olley, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2007
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    I have read in some of the threads that some breeders give out puppy contracts. I have never purchased a pup with a contract, are they legally binding ? So if either party defaults on the contract they can be taken to court, or are they just an agreement between purchaser and breeder. What sort of things does it cover ?
  2. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Any contract is legally binding and more are going to court now,

    This is my contract,


    Puppy Sale Agreement

    Date of Birth
    Purchase Price
    Date of Sale
    KC Reg Number

    Please read this very carefully.

    Your new puppy has been bred and reared with the utmost love and care to every detail.These points have been drawn up to maintain the quality both in your puppy and in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed.

    Your puppy has been raised in a busy household environment and is therefore used to the doorbell,hoover,telephone,people laughing and everyday noise.He/She has been handled and socialised since the moment of birth.He/She has within the last 48 hours been health checked by our vet.

    You have 48 hours to have your vet health check the puppy at your expense.If your vet finds any problem which,in their opinion,renders the puppy unfit for sale,We will take the puppy back and refund the full purchase price on condition that the puppy is returned within seven days of purchase and is in the same state of health as when it was sold.

    Before purchase,I recommend that you consult your veterinary surgeon about this breed and any possible diseases,genetic or otherwise to which it is prone and you accept that we the breeders can not be held responsible if such a disease develops later in life,after a satisfactory preliminary examination by your veterinary surgeon.

    You confirm that We will not be held responsible for any distress caused by the return of the puppy.You are solely liable for any costs associated with the return of the puppy to us.You must provide a written statement from your vet setting out the problem.

    You guarantee that the puppy will not be transferred to a third party without our permission in writing.

    You will make sure your garden is secure and your fencing is sufficient to keep an active Stafford within your grounds and this puppy will not be kept permanently in a kennel or crate,or tied up and will not be regularly left unattended for periods longer than 4 hours.

    You will properly house,feed,water and exercise this dog and will arrange for appropriate veterinary care if and when required.You will not allow the dog to roam at large or to cause a nuisance to neighbours,when away from home you will ensure that the dog wears a properly tagged collar and shall be kept on a lead or under control.

    The Kennel Club Registration Form states that this puppy cannot have an Export Certificate.Should you decide to permanently reside abroad and provide me with proof of this intent this restriction may be lifted at our descretion.

    The Kennel Club Registration Form states that progency from this Staffordshire Bull Terrier may not be registered.This means that should you breed from this dog you cannot register it’s offspring.This restriction may be lifted at our discretion after all health checks and tests have been carried out,subject to receiving copies of the certificates,if the dog has been shown and deemed by breed specialist judges to be a good specimen of the breed and if a bitch over the age of two years.

    You guarantee that if for any reason you are unwilling to keep the puppy/dog at any time,we will ALWAYS take the dog back.We bred him/her and as the breeders are committed to the dogs welfare and well being.Please keep in contact and let us know how the pup is doing,we love them as much as you do.

    If there is anything in this contract that you are not happy with and do not wish to sign,we are sorry but we will be unable to sell you one of our puppies.

    We are ALWAYS at the end of a telephone for you,24 hrs a day,if you are worried or concerned call us!
    This puppy is sold as a pet.
    And Finally Enjoy Your New Pup!

    Name and Address (new owner) Breeders Name & Address
  3. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2007
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    Thanks Sallyanne, thats interesting, when you've never seen one you really have no idea what they contain.
  4. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Your welcome,
    we also give articles on toilet training and crate training as well as all the other bits and bobs included in our puppy packs.
  5. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    Puppy contracts are not legally binding!! Once a puppy is sold it becomes the property of the new owner and they can unfortunately dispose of said puppies how they wish.
    I have heard of one breeder that got their dog back (just make sure that every page on that statement is signed it may then stand up in court as this is what happened with the person I knew) but don't automatically think that all puppy sales contracts would be legally binding, most are not.
  6. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Taken from Trevor Coopers website,


    If a written or verbal contract is entered into that has additional terms included (like a no breeding clause) or either party makes a specific claim (e.g. the dog is KC registered) then that becomes part of the contract of sale and is legally binding

    this only applies btw to those who don't sell dogs "as a business".

    rule of thumb here is if more than three litters a year it could be seen as " a business"

    and this is crossposted,

    "Briefing Note - Legal Binding Agreements and Verbal Contracts

    In order to form a contract, the parties must agree on what either party will do under the terms of the contract; they must have the intention to form contractual relations; and there must be consideration. It is immaterial whether the contract is verbal, in writing, or partially verbal and partially written, although common sense says that recording the agreement in writing creates a document that may be referred to for its terms in the event of a dispute between the parties. Obviously, this is particularly important when disputes arise in respect of the agreement, whether the dispute arises in respect to the work to be performed or sums to be paid under the agreement. Both verbal contracts and written contracts are equally legally binding contracts, subject to the existence of the usual requirements for formation of a contract.

    Certainty and Completeness of Agreement

    Agreement is reached between contracting parties when an offer is made by one party which is clearly and unequivocally accepted by the other party. The offer must be sufficiently certain so as the parties know what is to be performed, and the agreement must be complete. An agreement is incomplete when an essential term has not been agreed or there are further matters to be agreed. Agreements in principle are usually considered not to be complete, as are contracts expressly stated to be ‘subject to contract’. In deciding whether a contract is complete, a court will consider a contract to be formed when, from the viewpoint of an officious bystander, the parties have agreed in the same terms on the same subject matter.

    Verbal Contracts

    There is no legal impediment to the parties entering into a contract based on their conduct and verbal statements or representations. When parties agree the terms of the contract by verbal statements, the binding terms of the contract are more difficult to ascertain. Usually a court will look to the history of the statements made by the parties and the performance of the parties to obtain assistance in determining what was actually agreed by the parties. Where one person however has not performed their part of the bargain, and court is left to more uncertain means in reaching a decision. Draft contract documents, emails, letters and order forms may lend assistance to deciding the terms of a verbal agreement, and courts have used similar agreements with third parties to apply a standard of reasonableness in determining the terms of the contract in the absence of writing.

    In the event that a party refuses to sign a contract, it is essential to write to the person and confirm the terms of the contract as they are understood, to provide a evidence at a later date as to the terms of the agreement reached. In the absence of any other evidence these communications are may be key in assisting the resolution of disputes relating to the terms of the contract. It may be useful to know that where an verbal agreement has been reached, which is later confirmed in writing but the written document does not properly record the terms, that it may be rectified using the doctrine of rectification.


    There are exceptions to the general rule that contracts may be verbal, for instance in respect to employment contracts, tenacy agreements and contracts for consumer credit. In some instances where writing is required, a note or memorandum will be required. In the absence of such evidence of the contract, the agreement may be void, unenforceable, or unenforceable by only one party, or on the order of a court."

    So by the New Owners signing and us as the Breeders signing it therefore makes the contract legally binding.
  7. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    I don't really give a hoot what is written on TC's website, there are more cases lost than there are won where the sale of dogs are concerned, it's a VERY grey area! :)
  8. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Maybe but its get more common now,for cases going to court with sucessful outcomes....

    TC certainly played his part in the merseyside fiasco though....along with others.
  9. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2007
    Likes Received:
    It just got me thinking reading about Louise's DDB pup, which she bred, so if she sold it with a contract saying no sale to third party, she may have some comeback with the people she sold it to.
  10. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    Like I say, selling puppies & dogs is a VERY grey area, once the puppy/dog has been sold it becomes the property of the new owners whether there are contracts involved or not, afterall a dog is considered to be someones property a seller cannot dictate what you do or don't do with it once money for the dog or puppy has exchanged hands. Dogs and puppies sold, are just that sold, sold with all the rights of full ownership, and even though quite possibly there are more cases going to court and being won, I wouldn't believe naively that EVERY case would be won, most are not worth the paper they are written on.
  11. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    All I could find on TC's website is this
    Which reads to me exactly what it say's! No special laws regarding the enforcement of puppy sales contracts!

    Sorry, but it wouldn't without being witnessed, and even then you could be left severely out of pocket and still less your pup should you ever find yourself in the position of taking puppy buyers to court, there are no hard and fast rules where puppy sales contracts are concerned, and, even as a breeder there is no safe guarantee that should you ever have to petition a puppy buyer to court that anyones puppy sales agreement would stand up within that court of law!
  12. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    I'm not going to argue over it,but a contract is a contract,if it is signed by both parties it makes it a legally binding contract.
    These have been used in court with sucessful outcomes,more are going to court nowadays with sucessful outcomes also.

    Like everything in life,some will win,some will lose,personally I would take my chances and go to court if my contract was breached.
  13. garryd

    garryd Guest

    Three of my four dogs i have had to sign a contract for !
  14. griffpan

    griffpan PetForums VIP

    Feb 2, 2008
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    I signed contracts for all of mine, one being from a rescue hme and the other two from a breeder.

    Now whether they are legally binding or not (and i really think they should be) i would adhere to that contract as a matter of principle. I knew the contract rules beforehand and if i didn't agree wouldn't sign.

    I know there are people who pretend to want a dog for one reason but really it's another more dubious one, which is why these contracts should be made legal as a matter of urgency.
  15. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    None taken.....

    So why are these so called non legally binding holding up in court then?
    What about adoption contracts that come with rescues,they are roughly the same as puppy contracts,signed by new owner and a rep of the rescue,are they not legally binding either?
  16. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2007
    Likes Received:
    As I said previously, I have never signed a contract for a pup, but if it was legally binding, I would want a solicitor to look at it first, this would obviously add expence. I had a solicitor check a contract 6 years ago for a building I was going to lease, that cost me £450.00, I know it was more complicated than these, but i doubt they will do it for free.
  17. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    Rescues would say that their contracts will hold up in court because you don't technically 'buy' a dog from rescue, you give a donation :)
    Although, I'm not sure that the courts would see it in the same way, most rescues have a set donation, no donation, no dog, so I fail to see how that isn't a purchase! :)

    I love reading these kinds of contracts as they can usually be pulled apart by most people within seconds.
  18. garryd

    garryd Guest

    I agree with you darren ,i wouldnt think they could hold you to much with one of these contracts,or vias versa !
  19. louiseddb

    louiseddb PetForums Junior

    Jan 31, 2008
    Likes Received:
    So if this is all true how can people be taken to court over, spoken agreements???? I have done A level contract law, with precidents on all such cases with contracts signed with paper and spoken agreements. But to be sure that your contracts can be covered for ambiguity and other such things you are best to take the contract to a solicitor to check over terms.

    If a contract is signed it is deemed to have been read and understood. Breaking any of these terms, can lead to court precedings. As what would be the point in a contract if not?? As yet there are no precidents is such cases of dog sales there is nothing to take information from, but as to rules of statutory interpretation, if all situations are covered in terms and exclusion clauses. You should be covered and it is upto the court to decide wether the other party has infact broken the terms.

  20. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    I agree that puppy contracts are a good idea that show responsible breeding and love for the puppies you have reared, I tend to think now generally they are not a good idea. Either you are selling a dog or you are not..

    All you end up with, with most contracts I have read is a half clause of something that is reassuring...Well so our solicitor says! :)
    I signed a contract for my one of the dogs I own now which is something that I cannot talk too much about right now as this is being persued through the very avenue's that we are debating basically the gist of the story is, we had a bitch on terms and she hasn't turned out to be show or brood quality we are being persued because we haven't (and would never dream of) meeting our end of the bargain with a bitch that has health problems, which have been medically proven by our own vet, and also an independant vet because her breeder wanted a second opinion!
    I have no intention of handing our dog back over because we've loved her as part of the family for almost two years! The problems that she has were picked up by us the very day we brought her home and should have been easily spotted by her breeder. Things are looking quite good for us, we're back in court end of this month which hopefully will be an end to it.
    The last couple of months or so I have learned that these contracts are not worth the paper they are written on and have no real legality if you get yourself a good solicitor to pick them apart.
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