Senator Fasano Applauds Senate Passage of Bill to Ban Leasing of Dogs and Cats

April 17, 2019

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) today applauded the State Senate’s passage of legislation that will outlaw the practice of leasing cats and dogs in the state of Connecticut. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.

Sen. Fasano co-sponsored the bill which is similar to measures considered in other states which seek to address the problematic practice of pet stores leasing 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,” said Sen. Fasano. “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 ASPCA has called pet leasing a predatory practice that preys on those who cannot afford a pet. The Federal Trade Commission has said pet leasing is a new industry that has many complications; including extremely high costs on consumers who are unaware they have entered into a lease and the potential for leasing companies to repossess pets if payments cannot be made.

“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,” said Fasano.

Nevada and California were the first states to restrict pet leasing. New York passed a law last year that also prohibits certain contracts for buying or financing dogs and cats.

Senate Bill 594 would void a contract that (1) transfers ownership of a dog or cat contingent on the buyer making periodic payments over a period of time after taking possession of the animal or (2) provides for the lease of the dog or cat with the option to buy the animal at the end of the lease term. The bill also would make it clear that anyone who has taken possession of a dog or cat under such a contract will be deemed the owner of that pet and their payments should be returned.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.