In a press release Monday, Governor Cuomo announced the signing of legislation that will prohibit the leasing of “companion animals” in New York.
According to reports, some pet stores have duped families into thinking they are paying a small loan for a pet. Instead, in some case months or years later they learn the loan is actually a lease and the families are forced to choose between continuing to pay for their pet or giving it back.
The practice of leasing pets has led to the repossession of pets from low-income families who cannot afford the climbing interest rates or the lump sum payment at the end of a leasing period. The amended law will prevent all pets, specifically dogs and cats, from being used as security for payments.
The ASPCA said that they have been warning of the damages leasing pets cause to the pet owner and the pets. The Senior Director of State Legislation for the ASPCA Northeast Region, Bill Ketzer, explained pet lending as “deceptive, predatory financing arrangements benefit only the lending company and the pet seller – not the consumer, and certainly not the animal involved.”
This practice hit close to home for the governor. Governor Cuomo said “As I’ve learned firsthand, pets quickly become members of your family, and it is unconscionable that there are unscrupulous sellers who would use pets as collateral. I am proud to sign this legislation that will end this predatory practice once and for all.”