Leasing a Pet

May 24, 2017

Leasing a pet: is it right for you, is it right for the pet, or is it just wrong?

Yes, I am talking about really leasing a pet; not financing the purchase of a pet, not taking a loan to purchase a pet, this is a really a lease!  Yes, seriously, I’m not making this up!  There is actually a company called Wags Lending that does this.

If you’re like me, your head is just spinning even thinking about this.  I get the idea that there are some things that we can’t afford to pay for all at once but want or need, and you need to finance the purchase.  I also understand that there are some things that you may only want for a short period of time so you might lease that object.  Both of these financial tools have a place in our society, but frankly I don’t get the idea of leasing a pet!

Wags Lending will lease you a pet for either 12 or 24 months.  During this time Wags Lending (not you) actually owns the pet (like BMW owns the car I don’t drive) which means that if you miss a monthly payment…yup, Wags Lending could take back your pet!  This is a closed end (again, like when you lease a car), so you commit to leasing a pet for a certain amount of time for a set payment each month, and at the end of the term you either purchase the pet (the purchase fee is whatever is left on the lease if you happen to purchase your pet before the end of the lease plus 15% of the pet’s value; I have no idea how that 15% is calculated) and keep the pet OR you can return to the pet to Wags Lending!  Should a previously leased pet be returned, Wags Lending does say that they are committed to getting this previously leased pet a quality new home (not sure if Wags Lending would try and re-lease the pet).  But really, who is not going to want to keep their pet after a year or 2?  Is a better model of your pet (maybe with a rear view camera mounted on the tail) now available?  Is this just a really shady (and expensive) financing mechanism?

But what about all the other really weird questions that come up.  If the pet does something wrong (like bites someone), who is responsible and who pays? What if the pet is lost, who is it returned to?  I’ve never leased a car, but I understand that if you lease a car you commit to do the required maintenance etc. Does Wags Lending make sure that you take your pet to the veterinarian?  You’ve also got to wonder which breeders or pet stores (remember there are still pet stores that sell pets and not just pet supplies) are working with a company like this?  Would a reputable breeder be willing to have their puppies/kittens “leased” to a pet parent?  If you lease a pet are you even a pet parent or simply a …(where is my old Black’s Legal Dictionary when I need it?).

OK, enough of my pontificating about this.  What do you think about leasing a pet?

Thanks for reading.

One Response to “Leasing a Pet”

  1. Susi Ming

    No to pet leasing. Pets should not be shuffled every 12/24 months – they need stability in their lives. Aside from the obvious liability issues, what happens if a leased pet needs major veterinary care due to the negligence of the pet leasee? What happens if a leased pet is lost?

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