Publication Date



The Georgia Animal Protection Act—a set of animal
protection laws that has remained unchanged for nearly two
decades—was passed to promote animal welfare across the
state. Although the Act was progressive at its inception, its
failure to curb the atrocious conditions created by puppy mills
has become increasingly apparent, resulting in serious
consequences for both consumers and dogs. Georgia must
amend its animal protection laws to shift the costs of puppy
mills to where they belong: on pet sellers. Among other
innovative solutions to this problem, many states have enacted
“puppy lemon laws” that generally provide pet purchasers with
the option to return, exchange, or be reimbursed for reasonable
veterinary expenses for their “sick” puppy. But traditional
puppy lemon laws may be put to better use as cost
internalization tools rather than as mere consumer remedies.
This Note advocates for a puppy lemon law that provides the
consumer with just one remedy: reimbursement for reasonable
veterinary costs after purchasing a sick puppy from a pet seller.
Traditional puppy lemon laws have many weaknesses, and the
true utility of such laws may be in deterring pet sellers from
supporting puppy mills in the first place. By enacting a
progressive puppy lemon law that considers all of the interested
parties, alongside the other recommendations in this Note,
Georgia can secure its position as a state with model animal
welfare laws and—most importantly—can save lives.