• Pet shop owner liable to repay buyer of terminally ill dog

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    dearpao
    Dear PAO,
    I bought a dog from a pet shop for P5,000.00. I was told that the dog was in good condition and had shots of vaccines. I never thought that the dog was sick as it was energetic when I bought it from the shop.

    Two days later, however, the dog died because of a disease which according to the veterinarian already existed even before I bought the dog. Can I recover the amount I paid for the dog?
    Sherlee

    Dear Sherlee,
    In a contract of sale, the vendor warrants that the thing sold is fit for its use or for the purpose intended. In case of hidden defects rendering the thing sold unfit for its intended use or purpose or diminishing its fitness, which the vendee or the buyer may discover after the sale, the vendor is liable (Article 1561, New Civil Code of the Philippines). In which case, the buyer may opt to rescind the contract or reduce the price of thing sold with damages in either case (Article 1567, Ibid.)

    Furthermore, if the thing sold is lost due to hidden defects, the vendor is liable and is obliged to reimburse the buyer. This is according to Article 1568 of the New Civil Code which provides:

    “Art. 1568. If the thing sold should be lost in consequence of the hidden faults, and the vendor was aware of them, he shall bear the loss, and shall be obliged to return the price and refund the expenses of the contract, with damages. If he was not aware of them, he shall only return the price and interest thereon, and reimburse the expenses of the contract which the vendee might have paid.”

    In your situation, since the dog you purchased from the pet shop was afflicted with a disease which cannot be easily detected by simply looking at the outside appearance of the animal, plus the fact that the said store guaranteed that the dog was in good condition, you may claim for reimbursement from them.

    In addition to the above mentioned provisions, if an animal should die within three (3) days after its purchase, the vendor shall be liable if the disease which causes the death existed at the time of sale (Article 1578, New Civil Code of the Philippines).

    It is clear therefore that you may oblige the pet shop to return the price you paid them for the purchase of the dog.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

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