It's smart to get a rescue, re-homed, or free pet, in today's corporate-profit culture.
Dawn Sabins decided to surprise her 7-year-old son with a new puppy. In March 2015, she dropped into a San Diego-area pet store ... She walked out with a golden retriever.
..., even if $2,400 was more than she’d intended to spend.
... a few weeks later, when she and her husband were going over their credit reports and saw a $5,800 charge from a company they’d never heard of.
The Sabins had bought their new dog, Tucker, with financing offered at the pet store through a company called Wags Lending, which assigned the contract to an Oceanside, California-based firm that collects on consumer debt. But when Dawn tracked down a customer service rep at that firm, Monterey Financial Services Inc., she learned she didn’t own the dog after all.
“I asked them: ‘How in the heck can I owe $5,800 when I bought the dog for $2,400?’ They told me, ‘You’re not financing the dog, you’re leasing.’ ‘You mean to tell me I’m renting a dog?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah.’ ”
Without quite realizing it, the Sabins had agreed to make 34 monthly lease payments of $165.06, after which they had the right to buy the dog for about two months’ rent. Miss a payment, and the lender could take back the dog. If Tucker ran away or chased the proverbial fire truck all the way to doggy heaven, the Sabins would be on the hook for an early repayment charge. If they saw the lease through to the end, they would have paid the equivalent of more than 70 percent in annualized interest—nearly twice what most credit card lenders charge.
One cat lover described buying a Bengal kitten from a breeder in Jacksonville, Florida, at a sticker price of $1,700—then learning they were on the hook for 32 monthly payments of $129, or about $4,100. “They explained to me that not only was this not a loan but a lease in which I would either have to continue making these payments or return the animal,”... [emphasis mine]
I didn't read the whole article, but from your post, it sounds like those financial service people are immoral by not making it clear what a person is getting into.
Of course, the person buying a pet is not very smart to not read all the fine print. Plus, I don't think it's smart to spend that much money on a pet to start with.
If a person spends that much money for a pet, he or she has too much money and not enough cents (spell that sense). The contract should not be signed until figuring out the total amount of the loan over its lifetime. The math isn't difficult.
"There's a sucker born every minute."
~ David Hannum, banker, according to R. J. Brown