Catherine Cortez Masto Wants the FTC to Investigate Predatory Pet Leasing Practices
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) last Tuesday led several of her Democratic Senate colleagues in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, urging him to consider the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s recent request to investigate predatory “pet leasing” practices. A number of recent reports suggest that consumers at pet stores looking to obtain a pet will sign what they believe is a financing agreement to purchase the pet on credit, only to learn later that they have signed an inflated agreement to only lease their pet. If the consumer can’t make the payments, the leasing company will state they have the right to “repossess” the pet. The Senators say the practice is deceptive and unfair, and that it raises a number of legal and policy problems including the potential violation of federal consumer protection laws as well as animal welfare concerns. “Pets provide comfort, offer companionship, and bring joy to countless Americans’ lives,” the letter reads. “Aspiring pet owners should not be duped into exorbitant prices by predatory companies looking to evade consumer protection laws that limit financial charges and require clear disclosures. We urge you to protect people and pets by using all available authority to address these issues.” In addition to Cortez Masto, signatories on the letter were Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Edward Markey (D-MA). "Adopt don’t shop" is a term coined by animal rights proponents. Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the U.S., simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet. More here.