ASPCA Commends New York Lawmakers for Passing Ban on Pet Leasing

Bill prohibits predatory financing schemes that leave consumers and animals at great risk
June 14, 2018

NEW YORK–The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends New York lawmakers for passing legislation (S.7415-C/A.10082-B) to prohibit deceptive financing schemes known as pet leasing, and urges Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign this bill to make New York the third state to ban these predatory arrangements. California and Nevada both outlawed the practice in 2017.

Puppies sold in pet stores and online—most of whom are sourced from puppy mills— are often accompanied by soaring sticker prices. To make the puppies appear more affordable, pet sellers partner with private lending companies that offer leasing plans. These agreements allow the consumer to make monthly payments over a fixed period, but charge outrageously high fees and end up costing the unwitting buyer many times the animal’s original price. Even worse, the new family doesn’t legally own their dog. Technically, the leasing company owns the dog for the entire length of the lease, which might last several years. At the end of the lease term, the family can own the dog outright – for an additional payment, of course. Besides taking advantage of emotional consumers, having a third party retain ownership of a pet raises serious ethical questions about who is permitted to make important medical decisions on behalf of the animal.

“The ASPCA has long warned consumers to be skeptical of the pet stores and online sellers who may try to deceive them about the sources and health of the dogs they sell and pet leasing is just one more example of the disregard many pet stores have for the wellbeing of their animals,” said Bill Ketzer, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Northeast region. “These deceptive, predatory financing arrangements benefit only the lending company and the pet seller—not the consumer, and certainly not the animal involved. We are grateful to Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman Titone for their leadership on this critical issue, and we urge Governor Cuomo to sign this bill into law to protect consumers and pets from these predatory financing arrangements.”

"New York has taken one more step in being a leader when it comes to animal welfare," said Libby Post, Executive Director of the NYS Animal Protection Federation. "Pets deserve the security of a loving family and not the predatory nature of leases and repossession. We’re talking about a living, breathing creature—not a couch or a TV."

During the 2018 legislative session, state lawmakers also renewed their commitment to New York’s homeless animals by allotting $5 million in the 2018-2019 budget to fund capital improvements at animal shelters. State law requires almost every municipality in the state to maintain an animal shelter for homeless and abandoned animals, but until last year, the state provided little to no money to help offset costs. This much-needed capital funding will help ensure animal shelters have the resources they need to continue their life-saving work.

For more information about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit