people are people.
things are things.
And dogs, well, they’re dogs, but they’re somewhere in between.
I understand and respect that some people see their dogs as more than just a canine companion.
There are those who equate them with children. And there are those who consider them a part of their day-to-day lives, whether they’re approaching the relationship with family or a four-legged pal friend.
What I don’t understand is who would lease a dog.
To be honest I had no idea you could lease a dog until this week.
That’s because of news reports that a California-based company called Monterey Financial Services had reached a settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.
It might give you an idea of how the company might handle due diligence in its leasing services is the fact that Massachusetts is one of six states — including California — that prohibit financing pet purchases through leases.
The company reached an agreement with Massachusetts. They had to forgive nearly $700,000 in debt that included 211 outstanding leases, transfer full ownership of the dogs to Massachusetts residents, pay consumers $175,000 in refund of lease payments collected by the company, but legally could not, and paid a $50,000 fine to the state.
Monterey Financial Services issued the usual gibberish statement companies often make after getting caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
They released a statement saying they stand by their record of “high levels of service to our customers, low rates of consumer complaints and a deep-rooted commitment to customer service.”
They added that they disagreed with the state’s findings, then stated, “Monterey has and will continue to strive to employ business practices in full compliance with all applicable regulations and laws.”
And that’s exactly where the rubber dog bone hits the streets. They did not engage in business practices “in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations” because leasing dogs is illegal in Massachusetts.
It’s illegal for a Massachusetts company to offer leases to people to buy dogs. It couldn’t be simpler or more straightforward.
Of course, if you’ve ever taken out a lease, it’s not as simple or straightforward as buying something outright or financing it with a traditional loan.
This does not mean the entire legally required wording and is not in the rental agreement.
It’s just that there are a lot of moving parts in leases. They range from depreciation/appreciation, who responds to wear and tear and maintenance, liability for excess mileage and how the final payment is determined.
There are also dog-specific problems, e.g. B. what happens if your dog bites someone while they are on lease. Rest assured that the lease contains wording that will hold the lender harmless. However, insurance companies tend to charge higher premiums for leased vehicles in accident and liability insurance because of legal problems with third parties with regard to possible claims for damages.
Dog bites or attacks can be serious and even fatal, which means they can get expensive.
There’s also the question of what happens when a dog dies in the middle of a lease. You are still stuck with the payments.
The actual cost of borrowing may be higher or lower than a traditional loan.
Then there are permanent leases and closed leases.
Having previously leased cars with both open and closed terminal leasing, everything is settled. But the problem is that many people sugarcoat or accept things that they should not accept. And given the amount of money involved in leasing a pet as opposed to a car, and the fact that it’s even more emotionally charged, it’s easy to see why California lawmakers thought it wise to make pet leasing a… Option to purchase pets from the table throughout the Golden State.
The obvious question is why lease a dog?
First, if you miss a payment, they can repossess the dog. The same could happen with things bought with credit secured by a vehicle title or mortgage, for example. But the vast majority of consumer finance is unsecured debt. That means the biggest risk you face for skipping payments is affecting your credit score and ability to borrow when needed.
Yes, some pet leasing companies offer you the option to give your dog away at the end of the lease, whether it is 12 or 24 months.
Of course, you have to pay a fee based on depreciation and the like. Devaluing a dog is tantamount to finding a perpetuum mobile.
A pet leasing company assures their customers that they will endeavor to ensure that pets returned at the end of a lease find loving homes.
They don’t tell you how to do it. If you’re a betting person, they’re likely to give them to a rescue group or animal shelter, which sometimes charges a small fee. There is no viable market for dogs 2 years and older.
The reason leasing is considered the most plausible solution is for people who cannot afford to pay cash for a dog. They tend to be young puppies and pure breeds. The demand isn’t out there to pay the top dollar for a roughly 2 year old dog.
Yes, some older dogs bred for competition can rake in big bucks, but they’re the ruse, not the norm.
When Dante died, the first thing I wanted to do was replace him with another purebred Dalmatian. All my Dalmatians except my first one – zebra – were rescue dogs.
There were a number of purebred Dalmatians out there, but I was specifically looking for one that was as active, fierce, and fond of running as Rascal, a Dalmatian mix with a generous pinch of Pitbull.
Commercial sites offered none. But they offered plenty of Dalmatian puppies that they were willing to sell for anywhere from $900 to $3,700.
I don’t have time for a young puppy. And I’ve done pretty well making tail-wagging friends from rescues and shelters. This even applies to dogs that have been abused.
And to be honest, I don’t intend to spend a lot of money on a dog.
But I don’t want to treat a dog like a commodity either.
You are not human. But they are also not a thing.
When looking at various stories about people who ended up leasing rather than buying a dog, “exotic” or flashy dog breeds often caught up with them.
In this respect it resembles a car.
You can afford monthly payments to acquire a more than moderately equipped Ford Focus, but for the same monthly expense you can lease a booted, fully loaded Mustang, although you’ll have to worry about how you’ll use it at the end of 36 months You are still “in love” with the car.
Both offer you what you need, but one is more exotic and therefore more emotional at first glance.
However, a car is still a thing.
A dog is more than that.