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Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Puppy sales contract how "Legal "are they?
- By tillys mum [gb] Date 20.10.06 10:37 GMT
Can anyone offer any advice I have just found out that one of my puppies has been sold on without my knowledge.
The original owner signed a contract which stated that if for any reason they are unable to keep the puppy it is to be returned to the breeder.
I had regular contact with this person and was on very friendly terms ,about 2 months ago she stopped coming to training .I asked a friend of hers to ask her to get in touch as I was concerned about the puppy.She then sent me s "stroppy" email asking if I thought she wanted to get rid of the puppy and how much she loved him etc ect.Several emails passed between us and last Friday I had one saying she would send some pictures of the Puppy and bring him to see me.
I found out on Monday she sold the pup on Saturday and he had been advertised for sale for a couple of weeks on one of the free ads sites online.Luckily I am in contact with the new owner ,the reason she gave fir wanting to rehome him was tahr she has split from her husband.I think this is untrue ,but if so why didnt she get in touch with me?the diet she told the new owner to feed is totally unsuitable.I give extensive information to all my puppy owners and cant understand how this has gone wrong.I feel so let down and angry,thankfully the new owner seems very sensible ans already loves him to bits,and we are keeping in close contact so far.
Back to the contract is the document legal and is there anything we could do about them being "in breach of contract"
Sorry to have rambled on a bit
Any advice?
- By Brainless [fi] Date 20.10.06 10:38 GMT Edited 20.10.06 10:40 GMT
Puppy contracts have no real legality but should a case come to court they at least will show what the intentions were and what information had ben given.

Sadly once sold a pup becomes the new owner property to dispose of how they wish.  You would haveno more rights over the 'goods' than you would if you had sold a Sofa or TV.
- By cassieaurora [gb] Date 20.10.06 11:17 GMT
hi im very sorry to hear about the pup but the case with the contracts are true  once you have the money in your hands its the new owners wish to do what ever they want with the puppy i also do contracts but have been very very lucky in keep in very close touch with all my new puppy owners i still see them all and most of them are in weekly contact with me and have become more of friends than anything
least you know the pup in question is safe and sound in a happy loving home alot of breeders have there puppies sold on and have no idea where they go and whats being done with them your very lucky to know how he is and that hes happy
- By Beckyess [gb] Date 20.10.06 11:22 GMT
I've been in a similar situation but in this case the person just handed the puppy over to someone they met in a field!
- By Harley Date 20.10.06 19:06 GMT
Is the contract you sign with a rescue subject to the same interpretation ie an owner who paid for a dog from a rescue organisation is not legally bound to hand it back to them if they decide to re-home the dog as they paid for it so can dispose of it as they wish?
- By theemx [gb] Date 20.10.06 20:40 GMT
I believe rescues will say their contracts are legally binding as you dont buy a dog from a rescue, you give a donation.

However im not sure that the courts would see it the same way since most rescues have a set, obligatory donation - no donation = no dog and i fail to see how that ISNT 'purchase'.

- By roz [gb] Date 20.10.06 22:23 GMT
I can't speak for all rescues but I do know that dogs rehomed by the local branch of Dog's Trust aren't ever "owned" by the people who rehome them. Instead, Dog's Trust remain the legal owner and thus can legally prevent the passing on of their dogs to a third party.
- By Blue Date 21.10.06 01:42 GMT
As soon as they release themselves from the vet fees that alone would sway it.. I think it is important though they try to do something.
- By Blue Date 21.10.06 01:40 GMT
Hit it on the nail Theemx. I love reading these rescue contracts. ( I better say some are fair ) People who stipulate a dontation are selling a dog. They can like it or lump it but they would struggle to prove otherwise.
- By Ktee [us] Date 21.10.06 02:02 GMT
I've seen some contracts that read like a book and would have taken the breeder alot of time and consideration to put together.Why go through all this work when a puppy contract means nothing in the end? Whats the point of having a contract in the first place?
- By theemx [gb] Date 21.10.06 05:39 GMT
Contract law seems very very complicated.

For instance, heres something being discussed elsewhere today.

Person A wants a puppy, it is an expensive breed and she cannot afford one. Breeder B offers her a pup but on the clear understanding that it is on breeding terms and she expects to take a litter from the bitch.

Person A signs contract to this effect, fully understanding the implications.

1 year later, bitch now aged 22 months ish, breeder gets in touch with current 'carer' stating she now wishes to take a litter from the pup.

Person A no longer wants this to happen, and is currently contemplating having the bitch spayed without Bs knowledge, refusing, ignoring the contact or even having a vet falsify test results to suggest that the bitch is not medically fit to be bred.

Some of the suggestions given to person A come from people who RUN rescues and expect THEIR contracts to be legally binding.

Something i know DID happen in teh past....

Person C takes on a rescue puppy. Rescue D request that the puppy is spayed at 6 months old. At the appropriate time, C takes puppy to the vets and the vet deems the puppy too immature to spay.

Person C informs the rescue of this, and Rescue D remind C of the contract filled in when the donation was handed over for puppy. Rescue D state their intention to remove puppy from C....

SO..... On the one hand, Person A has had the bitch a year, shes fed it, shes paid its vets bills or is responsible for doing so, financially she has taken care of the bitch. Yet she willingly and fully understanding the implications,s igned the breeding rights contract provided.

Does the breeder have a claim on the dog, or would you say that given person A has provided for the bitch for all this time, that person A now owns the bitch, despite not having paid and not having any paperwork to say the bitch is hers (presumably the breeder has not handed over the paper or transferred ownership)...

Various rescues say she cant do this, because A has looked after the bitch for a year taking on all the care, which breeder B has obviously relinquished to A.

On the other, Person C PAID for her puppy, donation or purchase price is irrelevant. BUT she understood also the contract she filled out, shes willing to comply in part but not in full now that further evidence has come to light (ie the pup not being mature enough).

Same various rescues say they CAN legally take away the dog from person C...

So which is it?

I dont disagree with contracts being written, but they can be abused, people can be left not fully understanding wat they are signed up for (though i believe if they can prove this, then the contract is void).

Even if both kinds of contract are not valid at all, I dont think people should discontinue using them, at the very LEAST it makes people aware that you CAN return and SHOULD return a rescue dog to the rescue, or not breed a pup.
Breeding rights are iffy ground and i think the person in this case never had any intention of complying with the contract, just wanted a free dog. But there we go.

- By jas Date 21.10.06 17:39 GMT
My Sales Agreement is quite detailed. I know that it's legal status is very shaky to say the least, but the buyer doesn't necessarily know that. I just hope that the ritual of going over a Sales Agreement and signing a countersigned document (I also make some promises - wonder if they could be legally enforced?) will make the new owner more aware of what is wanted and encourage them to do it. The main clause is that the puppy is to be returned to me at any age and without explanation if the new owners can't keep it. This is an easy 'out' for owners in difficulties and hopefully signing an Agreement will convince them that I do mean to take back any pup bred by me back at any age.

Legally enforceable or not, a Sales Agreement does make an impression on some people. Recently I visited a pup I bred who is now aged 3½ years. I casually mentioned something in the Agreement and the owner promptly whipped her well thumbed Agreement and puppy booklet from a top drawer to show that she still kept them handy and looked at them from time to time.

So far the owners of two pups who couldn't keep them (a death and a sheep problem) have come straight to me. I'm in contact will the owners of all the other pups that are alive and all the deaths (and causes) have been reported to me immediately. Presuming the owners are not liars (and I doubt it as I visit my pups and they visit me occasionally, despite long distances) all of them have complied with the terms of their Sales Agreement. I realise that I've been lucky and probably in the future some owner is going to worry me sick with the care they give my pup, but I do think the act of signing a detailed Sales Agreement concentrates many minds.
- By munrogirl76 Date 21.10.06 22:45 GMT
:rolleyes: Do people not THINK??? (directed at person handing over dog to some random stranger).

Turned up in wrong place, is regarding person who decided to hand over puppy to someone they met in field....
- By Vocal Dog [gb] Date 22.10.06 13:10 GMT
people? think?

An acquaintance of mine from a different forum is the in the "receiver" situation. She admired a border collie puppy in the park recently .... and it was prompty donated to her. From what I gather, this particular pup isn't from a reputable breeder, however, the situation has already turned sour, as it turns out her landlord won't allow a second dog. So, now she has to rehome that pup pdq or risk eviction (I know it's not that straightforward, but she's not prepared to fight for it). If that pup is from a breeder who cares, he'd now have disappeared off the radar :(.
- By Sue H Date 22.10.06 20:13 GMT
They DO have full legality, i was in Court 2 weeks ago over the same thing & i won the case. If you sell a puppy & the buyer signs a contract stating that the pup must not be sold to a third party, then as long as the contract states you have the right to reclaim the dog back at no expense to you, then you can enforce it. Tip: If you have more than one page to a contract, then the buyer MUST sign & date the bottom of every page to make it legally binding. Otherwise they can deny knowledge of the other pages if they only sign the last one.  
- By Jeangenie [gb] Date 22.10.06 20:17 GMT

>If you have more than one page to a contract, then the buyer MUST sign & date the bottom of every page to make it legally binding. Otherwise they can deny knowledge of the other pages if they only sign the last one.  

Good advice. When you make a police statement you have to sign every page, not just the last. (And before anyone starts wondering, I was only a witness, not the accused! :D :D)
- By Sue H Date 22.10.06 20:31 GMT
Ok, we believe
- By Blue Date 22.10.06 21:03 GMT Edited 22.10.06 21:07 GMT
They DO have full legality

I am afraid nothing has automatic FULL legality, if things are written into the contract that are illegal or unfair then the contract would be void.

If you sell a puppy & the buyer signs a contract stating that the pup must not be sold to a third party,

This is another example of part of the story, nobody can say that this sentence alone makes anything 100%.

It is why time and time again I say on her you cannot prejudge anything without the full story and I mean every single fact.
Nor can you say that one outcome will be the same as the previous or the next.
- By Sue H Date 22.10.06 21:09 GMT
We're not talking about anything illegal or unfair in a contract, only simple terms that a buyer agrees to at the time of sale. I won my case in Court & that was that, of course every case is different & not every Judge will agree with the breeder. However, i was extremely pleased that my contract had been taken seriously & the Judge even said she was impressed at how i wanted to make sure none of my puppies were passed on without me knowing what happened to them.         
- By Blue Date 22.10.06 21:13 GMT
the Judge even said she was impressed at how i wanted to make sure none of my puppies were passed on without me knowing what happened to them.  

Exactly the contracts are worth their weight in gold to express intentions. 

It may be difficult because people know who you are but it would have been a good example for people to know the whole story so they could understand how the judgement was made and also what the "win" was. I don't mean in volume of money but what the judges outcome actually was. If that makes sense. 
- By Sue H Date 22.10.06 21:24 GMT
I can't into full details & name names for obvious reasons, but this is the short of it. I sold a puppy to a guy when she was 7 weeks old. He sold her on at 12 months old without my knowledge to a retired couple. I took the original buyer & the retired couple to court to get the dog back, i won the case. Unfortunately the original buyer never turned up on the day, so the Judge advised the retired couple to sue him for the money he took for the dog. What annoyed me is that he sold her for £200 more than he paid for her! My contract stated that if the dog was sold on, then i reserved the right to reclaim her at no expense to me. This all took place 2 yrs ago, but the case only came to Court recently. 
- By Annie ns Date 22.10.06 21:47 GMT
I feel very sorry for the retired couple who were the innocent party in this, knowing nothing about the original contract and losing a dog they may well have got very attached to. :(  Surely this could happen to anyone who offers a home to an older dog?
- By roz [gb] Date 22.10.06 22:42 GMT
I'd also feel sorry for the dog if he'd had 2 happy years with the retired couple!

However, regarding other cases mentioned, I'd always avoid entering into arrangements that are dependent, in practical terms, on the good will and inclination of the other party further down the line. Because what seems like a great idea can turn into a complete nightmare unless things are very much more cut and dried. I'd be more than happy to sign a contract saying I'd return a pup to the breeder rather than rehome to a third party but much more complicated than that and I'd be cautious!
- By Sue H Date 23.10.06 10:12 GMT
To be honest, they weren't that bothered about the dog. It transpired on the day that they only had her in their house for about 5 weeks, then they let her live with their daughter. Obviously i never knew this & it was them that were in Court because they were the people that bought the dog from the original buyer. They were not nice people, not someone i would have sold to anyway. I wouldn't have taken this dog back from people who were genuine & loved her etc... All these people were bothered about was the money they paid.   
- By Blue Date 23.10.06 08:53 GMT
Did you get the dog back or did you get financial loses?
- By Sue H Date 23.10.06 10:10 GMT
We got the dog back. The Judge also said we were entitled to loss of wages & travel expenses for the day, but we didn't bother about that as it was local for us anyway.   
- By Beckyess [gb] Date 23.10.06 10:14 GMT
But surely, instead of getting the dog back you could have left him with his new owners, as has been said the dog would have settled with them, unless, of course, they were a totally unsuitable home. I think that most breeders ask for the puppies back so that they know where they are. I'd be happy just making sure the dog was settled in a good home rather than taking it back.
- By roz [gb] Date 23.10.06 10:17 GMT
Skyota has said that they weren't actually bothered about the dog though and were actually planning to pass the poor lad on yet again! So it sounds to me like the best outcome all round.
- By Sue H Date 23.10.06 10:21 GMT
It was a female, not a male.....& the original owner had sold her on for breeding even though she had endorsed papers!   
- By roz [gb] Date 23.10.06 10:24 GMT
Sorry! I'll get there in the end....
- By Brainless [gb] Date 24.10.06 12:20 GMT
I think this doesn't prove that contracts are legally enforceable just that having one will stand you in good stead if you take the matter to court.  It shows what the intentions were and what had been agreed, but it will be up to the particular judge to decide if the terms are reasonable and would have to be adhered too.
- By Sue H Date 24.10.06 12:31 GMT
Well obviously my contract was legally enforceable, otherwise i wouldn't have had a My Solicitor assured me it was a legally binding one & could be taken to Court. I know there are no guarantees on the day, that depends on the Judge etc....i think i was fortunate to have one that took my side. The lesson here is to do a contract on any puppies you sell, but with simple, reasonable terms & nothing too complicated.    
- By Brainless [gb] Date 24.10.06 12:33 GMT Edited 24.10.06 12:37 GMT
Yes I agree.  I only have one simple page (two sides of A4).
- By Sue H Date 24.10.06 12:36 GMT
Now that's a good idea, as there is no chance of other pages getting 'lost'. Lucky enough, my contract that was used in Court was just one sheet of A4, but since then i have changed a few things & it now consists of 2 pages, but i make buyers sign & date each sheet. If people can just use one page, then that's perfect. I recently bought a Sphynx kitten & the contract was SIX pages!!.....& i was only asked to sign the last one.
- By Skyebulldog [gb] Date 27.05.17 12:36 GMT
Hi there, I'm just curious could I be taken to court over a pup as I paid stud fee to the person and she's asked for a pup and if said yes but then I changed my mind and said no because it fair you have had stud fee nothing was written or signed just communicated through text and now she threatening to take me to court?? Is this possible?
- By corgilover [gb] Date 27.05.17 14:01 GMT
My contract says if at any time you can no longer keep the dog it is to be returned to me with papers at no cost to me.  We where advised not to mention sold because they can give it away invalidating the contract, all our pups are chipped before sold and we are listed as breeders so if they turn up in rescue they can find us
- By MamaBas Date 28.05.17 07:08 GMT
I was in a similar situation except in my case, the fellow-breeder I sold TWO from one of my litters to, sold both of them to a breeder in Europe.   And I only found out after they'd gone.   I didn't have a return contract with her, because she was a fellow-breeder and I trusted her BUT I did have a written agreement that I could take one free stud from the male, in due course.   I wanted to use him, rather than the brother I'd kept, on one of my bitches.  As he was in Europe, I couldn't take that stud.   Unfortunately the sad fact is most of these agreement are really 'not worth the paper they are written on'.  Sadder but wiser for me.
Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Puppy sales contract how "Legal "are they?

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