Urging Washington Lawmakers to Stop Unfair and Deceptive Pet Leasing Practices

The Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted comments to Washington lawmakers urging passage of a bill to stop unfair and deceptive pet leasing practices.

Updated

February 13, 2019

Work Type

Legislation

Status

Completed

Submitted comments to Consumer Protection and Business Committee

Next Step

The Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted comments to Washington lawmakers urging passage of a bill to stop unfair and deceptive pet leasing practices. HB 1476 would effectively put an end to pet leasing schemes in Washington state by making pet leasing contracts void and unenforceable.

Why this case is important: In the typical pet leasing situation, pet store personnel encourage customers who want to buy a puppy but are unable to pay the high sticker price, to use “financing” — unbeknownst to many customers, a lease — to take the animal home. Often consumers are not aware that the papers they’ve signed are leases that empower a third party to seize their dog if they fail to make a monthly payment, and which make the lender the legal owner of the dog. Under these leases the total amount of money the customer pays is often significantly higher than the listed sticker price.

California, Nevada and New York lawmakers have determined pet leasing is so detrimental to their residents that they banned the practice outright. Multiple other states are poised to adopt similar laws.