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State Pet Shop Laws: Delaware

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Definitions:

  • Animal: any species of mammal, not including humans. (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 3 § 8202)
  • Retail dog outlet: any premises where dogs are sold, or offered or maintained for sale, on a retail basis (excludes dogs bred and raised on the premises and sold by the person who resides there; selling one litter of pups annually; animal shelters). (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 § 1701)

Vet Care:

  • N/A

Housing:

  • Cages must allow each dog to turn about freely, stand erect, sit and lie down in a normal position. If the dog is on display and is being offered for sale, specific minimum space requirements can be avoided. [See the statute for details.] (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 § 1704)

Lemon Laws:

  • Sellers must give to dog purchasers a written paper that describes the dog’s ownership history, description, and vaccination history. Does not apply to sellers who sell fewer than 20 dogs or 3 litters annually. (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 6 §§ 4002, 4001)
  • Sellers of dogs must give a written health disclosure to buyers at the time of sale. The disclosure must be signed by both parties. Does not apply to sellers who sell fewer than 20 dogs or 3 litters annually. (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 6 § 4003, 4001)
  • Sellers of dogs must post a notice stating that purchasers of dogs have “specific rights” in a “conspicuous location.” (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 6 § 4009)
  • Lemon law. [See DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 6 §§ 4001, 4005, 4006, 4007, 4008 for consumer remedies for the purchase of an ill or diseased animal.]

Food and Water:

  • Dogs must be fed at least once daily. Food must be “wholesome,” “palatable,” an “appropriate” diet, and “maintain the normal condition and weight.” (Penalty: fine and license suspension) (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 §§ 1704, 1703)

Sanitary Conditions:

  • Dogs must be kept in facilities where waste and debris is regularly removed. Waste must be removed daily. Dogs must be removed when steam or water is used to clean. No standing water allowed. (Penalty: fine and license suspension) (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 §§ 1704, 1703)

Unweaned Animals:

  • N/A

Miscellaneous Provisions:

  • Retail pet store license not required.
  • Sellers must keep a written record on the health, status and disposition of each dog sold for 2 years. Records can be inspected by animal control and law enforcement. Does not apply to sellers who sell fewer than 20 dogs or 3 litters annually (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 6 §§ 4004, 4001)
  • Ambient temperature must stay between 45 and 85 degrees in indoor facilities for dogs. [See the statute for exceptions and details.] (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 § 1704)
  • Indoor facilities for dogs must be “sufficiently ventilated” and minimize odors, drafts, ammonia, and moisture. (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 § 1704)
  • Lighting of indoor housing facilities for dogs must be “ample” to allow inspection and cleaning and must include “regular diurnal lighting.” (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 § 1704)
  • Dogs cannot be kept in outdoor facilities if they cannot tolerate the temperatures. [See statute for details.] (DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 7 § 1704)

Notes:

  1. Where “adequate space” is not defined the state has not established a definition for the term.
  2. The definition of “animal” may actually be broadly written while the types of animals covered by the law (e.g., veterinary care, sanitation, food and water) may be more narrowly drafted.

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Legislation
Legislation