Finding your perfect pet should be one of those incredible moments you’ll remember forever, whether you’ve adopted your dog from a shelter or purchased your pup from a top-notch breeder. But two sisters in New Jersey were recently duped into a “pet leasing” agreement, and now the ASPCA is filing a lawsuit against a New Jersey pet store for pet leasing and other deceitful practices, per a press release from the organization that was released last week.
The ASPCA—that’s the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—is working on behalf of Heather and Allison Schall, two sisters who were unknowingly entered into a pet leasing agreement to acquire an eight-week-old Golden Retriever puppy. Not only is the practice of pet leasing entirely fiscially motivated on part of the lending bank and pet store, but also leads consumers to believe false price promises while also having the ability to take a pet away if a single month’s payment is missed. In the case of the Schalls, although they had agreed to pay $3500 total, their 24-month total came out to $5300, nearly $2000 more than decided upon.
“These predatory financing schemes only benefit the lending company and the pet store, while severely exploiting both the animals and their potential owners,” said Jaime Olin, ASPCA Legal Advocacy Counsel. “Few consumers seem to be aware of how these financing arrangements are set up, and oftentimes the word ‘lease’ is never mentioned during the process. Pet stores and leasing companies should be held accountable for intentionally deceiving consumers with unconscionable lease agreements.”
“It’s terrifying to think that Cooper could have been taken away from us if we forgot to make a payment or didn’t fulfill one of the terms of this long, complicated agreement,” said Allison Schall. “Pet stores and private lending companies shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of people like this. Pet stores have a responsibility to ensure that the people they serve and the animals they sell are protected.”
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