New York Passes Ban on Deceptive Pet Leasing Schemes

June 19, 2018

a puppy in a cage

We have more great news for New York’s animals! On June 14, the New York State Legislature passed critical legislation to prohibit deceptive financing schemes known as pet leasing. 

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 to offer leasing plans that allow the consumer to make monthly payments, 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. Instead the dog is  considered property of the leasing company for the entire length of the lease, which might last several years. 

These deceptive, predatory financing arrangements benefit only the lending company and the pet seller—not the consumer, and certainly not the animal involved. New York is the third state in the nation to pass a measure banning pet leasing, following California and Nevada, which both outlawed the practice in 2017.

We are grateful to Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Matthew Titone for their leadership on this critical issue, and we urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign this bill into law to protect consumers and pets from these fraudulent arrangements.

The legislation comes on the heels of several important protections passed for animals in New York in 2018. Earlier this year, lawmakers renewed their commitment to homeless animals by allotting an additional $5 million in the 2018-2019 budget to fund capital improvements in animal shelters throughout the state. Just last week, the New York City Council approved legislation requiring the city to build and operate a full-service animal shelter in each of the five boroughs, giving more vulnerable animal the care and second chance they deserve.

If you live in New York, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to join us in thanking the Legislature for passing this important ban and to urge Gov. Cuomo to support and sign the bill into law.

Don’t live in New York? Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when animal-protection bills in your state need your help. 

If you are ready to open your home to a new pet, please open your heart as well by considering adoption or rescue. You’ll be standing up to cruel breeding facilities and shady pet leasing companies while giving a delightful dog a second chance. Visit Barred From Love to find out more about how you can join the fight for love.