States Banning Pet Leasing

By Susan Tasaki, December 2019
Chihuahua Puppy

Photo by wkn from Pexels

Which of these things is not like the others: a car, a house, a couch, a dog. Obviously, the answer is a dog, a living, breathing being. Yet, in many states, all four can be leased.

Described as a way to offset sky-high prices for purebred and so-called designer-dog puppies, the “lease-to-own” scheme benefits the sellers (pet stores and the puppy mills that supply them) and the private finance companies that underwrite it far more than those who sign up for it.

Thankfully, this year, Washington, Indiana and New Jersey joined New York, California and Nevada in banning pet-leasing (including dog-leasing) when their governors signed into law bills that prohibit these arrangements. It’s a practice that needs to be stopped nationwide. Not only are interest rates in these lease agreements astronomical, dogs can, in theory, be repossessed if payments aren’t made— a real lose/lose scenario if ever there was one.

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 99: Fall 2019