New York family almost forced to return dog due to 'dog-leasing'

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Thursday, August 9, 2018
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A Long Island family was almost forced to return their dog to a pet store over dog leasing.

NEW YORK -- A family on Long Island found out the hard way they didn't actually own their dog.

A golden retriever was leased by the family, and it was almost repossessed.

Purebred or designer pets could cost thousands of dollars. Some pet stores and breeders currently offer a leasing option in New York for owners who don't have the money up front.

Dog owner Danielle Cittadino got her golden retriever Max at Shake A Paw, a pet store on Long Island.

When Cittadino went to get Max at the pet store, she said that she signed a document that she didn't read closely enough.

"There's wording in the paperwork that says your financing X amount of dollars, although the top of the paperwork does say this is important information about your lease," Cittadino said.

Instead of paying $1,200 for Max up front, Cittadino said she paid $145.19 a month on time for two years.

Now she faces a final payment of $338.07 and might lose her dog if she doesn't pay.

"They told me they were gonna take my dog," Cittadino said.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning last month that spelled out what is required of sellers using lease agreements for pets.

Several states have already banned pet leasing.

New York State Legislature passed a ban to end puppy leasing. The bill now heads to Governor Cuomo, who would need to sign it to make it a law.

Shake A Paw said that they plan to make the final payment to the leasing company so that Cittadino can keep her dog.