New York state makes it illegal to lease dogs and cats

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation taking effect in 90 days that will ban the practice of using a pet as security for financing agreements with pet dealers. (SBG file photo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state will soon make it illegal to finance the purchase of dogs, cats or other companion animals through lease-to-own schemes.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation taking effect in 90 days that will ban the practice of using a pet as security for financing agreements with pet dealers.

Animal welfare groups say financing has become popular with some pet dealers as a way to make high-priced breeds seem more affordable to unwary consumers. Under a lease agreement, a pet buyer makes monthly payments, usually for several years. The pet is owned by the leasing company, and not the buyer, until a final payment is made.

Critics say it's a cruel practice that can lead to pets being repossessed.

California and Nevada have already enacted similar bans.

AP-WF-09-24-18 1833GMT

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