The legislation to stop the practice of leasing cats and dogs in Connecticut now moves to the House of Representatives, which marks a huge step in creating change for the betterment of the animals.
Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano co-sponsored the bill, which seeks to address and change the problematic practice of pet stores who lease dogs and cats.
“The stories I have heard about pet leasing arraignments gone wrong are heartbreaking, for the animals involved as well as the families who may find themselves unable to afford to continue caring for their pets,” Sen. Fasano said in a statement. “If a family cannot afford to make payments, animals can be repossessed, creating traumatic upheaval for the animal and potential euthanization if another home cannot be found.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), an organization aimed at preventing cruelty to animals, called the activity a “predatory practice that preys on those who cannot afford a pet.”
Federal Trade Commission defined pet leasing as an industry that has many complications, and includes an extremely high cost on consumers.
“It is not right to direct people into these contracts, oftentimes without explaining the fine print, putting them in difficult situations in which they can end up incurring enormous fees. If a family cannot afford these payments, their beloved pet’s fate is in jeopardy. It is inhumane to do this to an animal that has found a home,” Fasano added.
The legislation, Senate Bill 594, would void a contract that transfers ownership of a dog or cat that is contingent on the buyer, who is making periodic payments over a period of time after taking possession of the animal. Also, it provided for the lease of the animals with the option to buy them at the end of the lease term.
Anyone who took the animal under such contract will be deemed owner and their payments should also be returned.
Nevada and California were the first ones to restrict pet leasing, while New York as passed the law last year that prohibits contracts for buying or financing the animals.