Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Warning Puppy Loans and Rental Agreements

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan warns families about high interest puppy loans and even puppy “rental agreements”.

Puppy shoppers can be easily misled by the financing language because the store employee did not understand the loan terms or wanted to make the sale by glossing over them.

The puppy loans include attractive low monthly payments, yet payments are spread over years making the interest portion seem minimal. Even worse, puppy buyers may end up signing a lease and learn later the lender is holding the puppy as collateral!

Stores to watch out for

The Barking Boutique (Grandville) and Petland (Novi) puppy stores offer high interest rate loans through Lending USA.

Caitlin Cooprider, a Wyoming resident, paid $3,900 in July for a Mini Aussie puppy at The Barking Boutique financing most of the purchase price through Lending USA. She was only provided high interest rate loan options by the pet store sales employee. She was told there was a 0% interest for 6 month option, but she would have to contact the lender directly at a later time to change the terms. Caitlin was not provided a copy of her financing contract when leaving with the puppy. The financing was all handled online in the store and there was no email confirmation.

It is unclear why Caitlin was not offered the 0% option while at the store. The option was listed on the loan document that she initialed in the store, yet she was not able to set up a 0% interested loan in the store. If Caitlin is not able to change the financing terms to 0% interest, she will pay $1,637 in interest, bringing the total cost of the puppy to $4,606!”

“Puppy Rental” agreements or leases

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) consumer alerts have cascaded across the country through the Better Business Bureau and media outlets. They claim it is a predatory practice for pushing expensive puppies on people who cannot afford them and do not always understand they are essentially renting an animal for months — and paying far more than they might have realized.

The Barking Boutique (Grandville) and The Family Puppy (Flint, Troy, Novi, Toledo) both include a link to the “My Pet Funding” website.

The financing option ad states in small print and in all caps:


According to a recent USAToday article “Pet leasing has been drawing scrutiny from lawmakers and animal welfare groups since media reports last year highlighted consumer complaints against Reno, Nevada-based Wags Lending, which pioneered the practice. Nevada and California have now outlawed pet leasing, and New York lawmakers are proposing legislation prohibiting lease contracts "where dogs or cats are used as collateral."

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