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Old 09-29-2015, 06:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Important Legal Question!!!


Perhaps you all can help me with a hedgehog-related matter.

My roommate and I adopted a hedgehog from a woman in Massachusetts (we live there too). It has only been a couple of weeks since we got him but he had a serious medical issue last night and needed to be put down.

The vet at the animal ER told us that he likely had a genetic issue, which prompted me to check if the breeder is listed on the international registry, and she is not. Is she allowed to breed and sell hedgehogs without being on this registry? If not, what are my legal rights moving forward? Am I entitled to some sort of refund if the problem truly was genetic?

The situation is a bit more complicated than this but a response from you will definitely be a huge help.

The breeder did not give us a copy of any of the paperwork and the entire situation seemed a little suspicious in hindsight. Perhaps that is our fault for not checking with the registry beforehand but if she is breeding illegally I want to at least know if I can get my money back.

Thank you for your time,

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Old 09-29-2015, 06:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How many breeding hedgehogs does she have, do you know? She doesn't have to be USDA licensed if she has fewer than three breeding females (I think - the regulations on that were changing to 5 females, but I don't know when). And she doesn't have to be on any registries or anything either, as far as I know. The only possible illegal thing would be if she has too many females & isn't USDA licensed. But I'm not sure if that would help you or not - it could get her in trouble, but I don't know that it would get you a refund or anything.

Unfortunately, I doubt there's anything you can do legally, if there's nothing wrong regarding USDA licensing. If you don't have any paperwork or any guarantee against genetic issues, you have nothing to use to prove she sold you the hedgehog or that she did anything wrong.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Adding that if there is any pet lemon laws in your state a probable cause of death may not be sufficient, most health policies an actual cause of death.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You'd probably have better luck arguing how such event was traumatic for you (the humans). But any lawyer that could win that case would be too expensive to even bother wtih.
Have you tried going back to the breeder and informing them of the situation and requesting a refund??? It would also bring up the issues for the rest of their hedgehogs. They may not know anything about it being genetic and need to have theirs taken to the vet too.
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