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Rent-to-Own Dogs

posted by Adam Levitin

Just when you thought you had seen everything.... Rent-to-Own Dogs!  Apparently, it is illegal to do lease out a dog in Massachusetts.  It does seem perfectly fine, as far as I can tell, to sell a dog on installment credit in Massachusetts and to take a lien on Fido.  In other words, the rent-to-own outfit got dinged for not structuring its product as a plain old sale.  

Comments

I should have noted that Bob Lawless already covered this issue in a prior post:
https://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2019/03/pug-repossession.html

Curiously, the Massachusetts law covers only dogs, not other pets.

For teaching consumer law, I have used a case out of Minnesota on a dog lease - it's Danger v. Nextep Funding, LLC, 355 F.Supp.3d 796 (2019). Students love it.

Also, to clarify, I think this is meant to be an animal protection statute, rather than about protecting owners.

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