A woman in the San Diego area went to a pet store looking for an English Bulldog puppy to surprise her son. She walked out with a $2400 Golden Retriever puppy.
That was more than she had intended to spend so she agreed to the store’s finance plan. A few weeks later when she and her husband were going over their credit reports, they saw a $5,800 charge from a company they'd never heard of.
She had bought the dog, Tucker, with financing offered at the pet store through a company called Wags Lending, which assigned the contract to an Oceanside, Calif.-based firm that collects on consumer debt. But when she tracked down a customer service rep at that firm, Monterey Financial Services, she learned she didn't own the dog after all.
"I asked them: 'How in the heck can I owe $5,800 when I bought the dog for $2,400?' They told me, 'You're not financing the dog, you're leasing.' 'You mean to tell me I'm renting a dog?' And they were like, 'Yeah.'" Source
Without questioning the contract, she had agreed to make 34 monthly lease payments of $165.06, after which she had the right to buy the dog for about two months' rent. If she missed a payment, the lender could take back the dog. If Tucker ran away or died, she would have to pay an early repayment charge.
It’s all legal. An adorable pet shop puppy could ruin your good credit.
It's none of my business where people get their pups, but this could not happen at a breeder's or a shelter.