Pet Stores Ripping Customers Off With 'Loans' For Pets

posted by Exec. Producer Michelle - 

This is the perfect opportunity to remind you that there are MILLIONS of pets in shelters across the country that need good loving homes, and there's a minimal cost to adopt them.

That is why this story makes us SO ANGRY.

Animal lovers, if you have to take out a LOAN to buy a pet, it's probably a scheme. 

Apparently, some customers are being duped by pet stores across the U.S. that have hatched a scheme to set up a 'loan' for someone to buy a very expensive pet.  The customers later find out that it's not a loan, but instead a lease. 

The pet store lures you in with the adorable puppies in the window.  You fall in love and just have to have one.  But the price tag is too high for you to afford.

'Don't worry' the pet shop says, 'we'll set up a loan for you, with a handy, low monthly payment!'

Sounds like a dream right?

But, it ends up being a nightmare.

Courtney Peterman told CBS News that she went to a pet store in Connecticut in 2015, fell in love with Cass and Max, but couldn't afford their $3,000 price tag.

So she jumped at the offer from the pet store to take out a loan with a company called Wags Lending. She thought it was pretty straightforward, a monthly payment until the full amount was paid off, although she does admit, she didn't read the document very carefully. (MISTAKE #1) 

After 18 months of paying $185 a month, she was so excited to be free of the payment.  But when she called the bank they told her that she wasn't close to paying the loan off, there were 20 MORE payments to go.  

“When I asked how that was possible when it was only a $3,000 loan, AND I was told it wasn’t a loan at that point; it was a lease.”

She kept making payments, fearing the worst about what would happen if she defaulted.

“I was like, OK, what bills am I not going to pay now so I can make sure no one’s going to come to my door and take my dogs away?”

So, she kept making the payments and ended up paying more than $6,000 for her dogs. 

The ASPCA says these pet stores are doing a very cruel thing.  Jennie Lintz, of the ASPCA, told CBS News:

“This is simply a business that’s built on deception and cruelty. Just like someone who goes to a car dealership, people get distracted thinking about the monthly payment and might no longer negotiate that sticker price. Once they start adding in the fees, all of a sudden, the dog that you could’ve bought for $1,500 is $5,000. Even people whose pets have died during the course of the lease are continued to be expected to pay.”

Apparently, this isn't a new thing, the Federal Trade Commission has been looking into 'pet leasing' for several years and so far, California and Nevada have banned the practice (New York is expected to follow suit this year.)

That means there are 47 states where it's still ok to do this, so customers have to be VERY careful when a pet store offers you a 'loan' to purchase a pet.  

Bottom line, if you have to take out a loan for a pet, you probably shouldn't get one. #AdoptDontShop!

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