Companies fined for leasing dogs to their owners

Brian Niemietz

A pair of financial companies that were leasing dogs to Massachusetts pet owners will waive the remaining balances owed on dozens of animals, according to the Massachusetts attorney general.

Nevada based companies Credova Financial, LLC and Nextep Holdings, LLC will reportedly forgive $126,000 in balances and give full ownership to dog owners who took out a lease to buy their family pet. Leasing dogs is legal in some states, though Massachusetts, where Thursday’s case was settled, isn’t one of them. Those two companies also agreed to pay $50,000 to the state.

According to the AG’s office, some pet stores allow owners to take out leases to finance a dog, much the same way some people purchase cars. If a payment is missed, the dog can be repossessed. Such loans are said to often come with high finance charges.

In announcing the settlement, attorney General Maura Healey said dog ownership is a big investment for families, both financially and emotionally.

“When the dog is used as collateral in a lease, the end result can be expensive and heartbreaking,” Healey said.

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