Victory for Pups in Indiana, the Latest State to Ban Pet Leasing

May 6, 2019


We have great news for people and their pets in Indiana! Last week, Governor Eric Holcomb enacted a new law prohibiting pet leases. Indiana is the fourth state to ban these unethical financial arrangements, following Nevada, California and New York.

Puppies sold in pet stores—most of whom are sourced from puppy mills—are often accompanied by soaring sticker prices. To make puppies appear more affordable, pet sellers partner with private lending companies to offer leasing plans, which are often padded with high hidden fees that end up costing the unwitting buyer many times the animal’s original price. Even worse, the leasing company technically owns the dog for the entire duration of the lease, which might last several years. Not only does third-party ownership of a pet take advantage of consumers, it also raises serious 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 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 Sana Azem, Director of State Legislation for the ASPCA, Great Lakes 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 thank the Department of Financial Institutions and Representative Woody Burton for including this critical language in their bill, and we are grateful to Governor Holcomb for signing this legislation to protect consumers and pets.”

If you’d like to help pass animal-protection laws like pet leasing bans in your state, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.