Repo'd pets?! It could happen, FTC warns
People lease cars.
People lease homes.
People even lease electronics.
But what about Fido?
According the Federal Trade Commission, pet leasing is, apparently, a thing.
“There are many people who paid money not knowing they were actually renting their new pets instead of owning them,” writes FTC Consumer Education Specialist Lisa Lake.
Purebred pets can often come with purebred pet price tags that can get well above $1,000. Lake says some pet stores are now offering would-be owners financing plans.
“You sign an agreement to make payments toward ownership — or so you think. You may unintentionally sign up to make costly, extended lease-to-own payments that add up to about twice the list price of the pet,” Lake writes. “As you’re paying over what could be years, the company still owns your pet. When the lease is up, you may have to pay additional costs to actually own it.”
It’s money for which you are on the hook, even if the animal dies or runs away. And if you miss a payment, you may find your beloved animal repossessed.
“Whether it’s pooches or parrots, understand what you’re actually paying for before you sign anything,” Lake writes.
Here in Utah, there are several animal shelters and rescue groups that can hook you up with a happy and healthy four-legged-friend for an amount that won't require any payment plans.