Pet brokers are leasing puppies — and people are feeling scammed

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Thinking about giving a puppy or kitten as a holiday gift? If so, animal welfare advocates advise that you make sure the recipient is eager and ready for a pet, and they strongly suggest sourcing the animal from a shelter or a rescue group.

If you are determined to get one from a breeder or a pet store, you might want to double-check that you are actually buying the fluffy little bundle and not leasing it.

That’s right: Pet leasing is a fairly new but very real industry, and it is getting growing scrutiny from lawmakers and animal organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They say 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.