Martin County puppy seller arrested under pet lemon law

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 1:42 a.m.

STUART - A pet store owner was arrested for violating Florida's "Pet Lemon Law" by refusing to pay for a sick pug's medical treatment after he sold the animal to a Port St. Lucie woman, authorities said Tuesday.

The lemon law requires stores to replace animals they sell that are found to have defects or diseases, or to pay for medical treatment.

Mike Guerra, 41, sold a male pug named Shamus to Tracey Wallace in August, said Martin County Animal Control supervisor Lt. Mike Ewing.

Shamus died and was replaced with a female Wallace named Chloe. But Chloe soon became sick and was later diagnosed with a congenital problem that is incurable, court records show.

Wallace did not want another dog, so she wrote Guerra, asking him to refund her $757 payment to put toward the medical bills.

Ewing said Guerra was informed of the law's requirements but did not respond.

Guerra was arrested Monday and then released from the Martin County jail on $2,000 bail. He faces a misdemeanor charge of violation of consumer guarantee on the sale of animals.

Calls to Guerra's Port St. Lucie home and his attorney were not immediately returned Tuesday. A call to his store, Puppy Country, went unanswered.

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