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Michigan lawmakers want to ban “pet leasing”

Chen Vision

New legislation in the state house ends to aim a practice called “pet leasing”

Pet leasing allows owners to finance an expensive animal through a third party.

But, according to lawmakers, the pet is held as collateral for the loan. When people can’t pay - the pet is reclaimed.

Democratic State Representative Bill Sowerby sponsored the legislation. He called pet financing a “scheme.”

“People often don’t understand what kind of a contract this is that they are signing,” he said. “They are just emotional in walking out with that animal and not realizing what they ended up with.”

Sowerby said he knows of four stores in the state that lease pets.

He said he learned about the issue from a young woman who financed a poodle for $2,500.

“Later when she was looking over the contract after she’d already become attached to her pet did she realize that after 29 monthly payments plus the balloon payment would have ended up costing her over $6,300.”

If the legislation passes, Michigan would become the 7th state to ban the practice.

The General Manager at the Barking Boutique in Grandville, which uses pet leasing, said a pet would never be repossessed. And, she said, nothing about contracts is hidden from clients.

She said her store wants what is best for puppies and clients.