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Resources for Pet Shop Customers

Pet Shop Licensing and Inspection Program

The Division of Animal Health has the statutory responsibility to license all pet shops. Pet shop inspections are required for licensure and annual re-licensure of all Massachusetts pet shops .Each establishment must meet facilities requirements outlined in 330 CMR 12.00 in order to receive a license. These requirements are in place to protect the health of the animals, as well as that of the visiting public and the employees who work in these shops.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a pet shop is licensed?

The shop is required to display its license in a prominent place so customers can see it.

I saw a license for the pet shop, but it was for the previous year. Is that ok?

Pet shops are required to renew their licenses for each calendar year.

I'm worried that if I pay a lot for a dog or cat it might get sick within a few days. If that happens, do I have any recourse?

Yes. The pet shop who sells you the dog or cat must give you a 14-day warranty, which entitles you to a full refund or replacement if a veterinarian determines that it is diseased or has a congenital disorder.

What can I do if I have a complaint about a pet I purchased?

Contact Animal Health at 617-626-1795 and provide us with a description of the problem.

Do birds, reptiles, and lizards come with the same guarantee as dogs and cats?

Check with your pet shop about birds and reptiles, as they may offer some guarantee, but there is no statutory guarantee as there is with dogs and cats, and no license is required to sell fish.

I was in a pet shop that did not house the animals in sanitary conditions. What is the procedure for reporting such situations?

Contact Animal Health at 617-626-1795

Selecting and Caring for Your Pet

Animal Health has put together some references for helping you select the right pet for your and your family and for keeping your animal companions happy and healthy. 

There are many health benefits to pets but any animal can also carry germs that can make people sick. Here are simple things you can do to keep you and your family healthy.

Additional Resources

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