Warning: If You're Purchasing A Pet As A Gift: Make Sure You're Not Leasing
Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 – As any pet owner knows, pets can be more expensive than we anticipate. If you plan to buy a pet from a breeder or pet store, you should know about pet leasing. Pet leasing can be structured just like any lease. You’ll pay regular installments based on a contract and at the end of the lease, you become an owner. You are typically bound by the leasing contract to pay in full, so if the puppy or kitten becomes sick or runs away, you may be legally obligated to pay off the full amount of the lease.
Pet leasing is often sold to consumers as a way for those who can’t afford the pet they’ve always wanted to take home their animals right away, and that emotional appeal can make it harder to say no. What buyers may not realize is that over time, they are paying a much higher price for their pet.
Here’s what you should consider before buying, or leasing a pet:
- If you’re buying a pet as a gift, make sure the person you’re buying the pet for is prepared to be a pet owner. If you lease a pet and are locked into a contract for someone who can’t take care of an animal, there may be penalties attached.
- If you’re leasing, you don’t own. It may take years for you to really be the true owner of your pet, and if something goes wrong with your lease, you could lose your pet.
- Leasing means you need to be prepared to make on time payments, and depending on your contract, there may be consequences of late payment. Pets can be taken away from their new “owners” if a bill isn’t paid on time.
- If you’re leasing, know who is responsible for the health and wellbeing of your pet. In most cases when you lease, you’ll be responsible for vet visits, and care of the animal. It’s not the same situation as leasing a car, where you may get special maintenance deals from a dealership. A pet is a living thing, and depends on you for its care.
- Consider getting your animal from a shelter. Often times, animals from shelters cost much less money, and you could be doing a great deed for an animal in need.
Ultimately, if you can’t afford to purchase your pet outright, we recommend not leasing, and to keep in mind an initial purchase price is just one of the costs that come with a pet.
“We know so many families benefit from having a pet in the home, and so many of us want to do good for the world by taking care of an animal that needs us,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “We urge consumers to make sure they’re purchasing an animal they can truly afford based on their budget, and to do detailed research and review of any contract before committing to something like a pet lease. These decisions can affect the lives of our families, and these animals.”
Lora Rae Anderson
(860) 713-6019 (office)
(860) 247-8711 (cell)