What to know before renting a pet

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TUCSON (KVOA) – If you can’t afford the purebred cat or dog of your dreams, leasing or financing the purchase is becoming an increasingly popular option. But before you sign on the dotted line and bring your new four-legged friend home, make sure you understand the contract, the Better Business Bureau has warned. When it comes to buying a pet, misunderstandings and misleading terms are unfortunately common.

How pet rental works

Some unscrupulous companies persuade enthusiastic new pet owners to accept predatory terms. In many cases, people who sign “pet leases” end up paying thousands of dollars more for their cat or dog – and may not even own the pet after the contract ends. In addition, if the owners stop making payments, the rental company has the right to take the animal back.

Pet rental issues have become so prevalent that states are starting to ban it. Nevada and California have both passed laws to end the practice.

If you want to finance the purchase of a pet, the BBB recommends following these tips.

  • Make sure you understand what you are signing: Many people are so eager to bring home a new pet that they don’t fully read the contract. Do not hesitate to ask questions. You can insist that the company show you where something is listed in the contract. If a seller misrepresents the terms of an agreement, they could be breaking the law.
  • Understand the difference between leasing and financing: In a common scenario, pet owners pay for the term of the lease, only to find that they still don’t own their cat or dog after the contract ends. This is common practice when it comes to renting a car. You pay for the right to use the vehicle for a period of time, but you do not actually own it. This differs from financing, where you own the purchase after you make the payments.
  • Do the math: Even if you want to finance the purchase of a new cat or dog, be aware that it can cost a lot more than buying just one. According to a company’s website, if you finance the purchase of a $ 2,000 dog, you can pay up to $ 293 per month for 24 months. This means that you can pay over $ 7,000. That’s $ 5,000 more!
  • Get verbal agreements in writing: If the seller makes a promise, make sure it’s written in the contract.
  • Research your options: If you want to rent or finance a pet, research different companies and BBB.org first for business valuations. The terms of the contract and the payments can differ considerably.
  • Report violations. If you’ve been the victim of deceptive purchase terms, report it to the FTC.


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