Pet leases: A growing trend that comes with financial, emotional risks

Pet leases: A growing trend that comes with financial, emotional risks

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Imagine this: your kids have fallen in love with a beautiful new puppy ...

... but it comes with a HUGE price tag.

Now what?

You've heard of car leases, but how about pet leases? It's a growing trend for people looking to pay for designer dogs that come with designer price tags.

Some pet stores and breeders are now offering payment plans to finance that pricey new pet.

Consumer advocates, however, say to look closely because that payment plan is likely actually a lease agreement.

If you sign it, you're agreeing to make monthly payments for years, often at a high interest rate, or with hefty monthly "rental fees."

When you crunch the numbers, that $2,000 dog could cost you twice that or more when all is said and done.

Even worse, if you miss a payment, that document you signed may give the lender the right to repossess your furry friend.

New York's state attorney general is now suing a pet store chain for offering these leases and not fully explaining the terms to buyers.

Animal rights advocates want these leases outlawed, saying they're pushing expensive pets on people who can't afford them.

Pets are a serious commitment, both in terms of time and money, so buying one on impulse, especially one you can't afford, is a bad idea.

And remember, if you are ready there are plenty of shelters in Central Virginia with animals looking for loving homes, too.

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