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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 17, 2019 10:09 AM
From: Representative Maureen E. Madden and Rep. Jeanne McNeill
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting the Practice of Pet Leasing
Whether it’s a wet tongue, a soft purr, a little nuzzle or just cuddle time on the couch, we know our pets love us as much as we love them. For many of us pets are more than just companions, they are family. While there are many pets in shelters waiting to be loved, some choose to go to pet stores, which are expensive. In recent years, some pet retailers began offering customers a dishonest option known as “pet leasing.” “Pet leasing” is a predatory practice that preys on the connection between a potential pet owner and the pet they hope to own.

Unfortunately, customers eventually discover that they were deceived when they signed the pet lease. Under the terms of the contract, the customer enters into a long-term payment agreement, requiring them to pay far beyond the initial retail price of the pet with large balloon payments at the end of the lease. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “pet leasing” is not considered illegal, however companies may be held responsible since they have an obligation to clearly state that customers are entering a lease agreement. Sadly, when a customer lacks the financial ability to make a payment, their pet is repossessed and often finds its way back to a shelter. I believe we should prohibit “pet leasing” to protect pet owners from this fraudulent practice as well as the unnecessary stress and trauma of losing a pet should they be unable to make payments and lose a pet due to repossession.

Let’s work together to dismantle this practice that serves the purpose of defrauding the hardworking citizens of the Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB1345