NASSAU COUNTY, New York -- A family on Long Island found out the hard way they didn't actually own their dog.
A golden retriever was leased by the family, and it was almost repossessed.
Purebred or designer pets could cost thousands of dollars. Some pet stores and breeders currently offer a leasing option in New York for owners who don't have the money up front.
Dog owner Danielle Cittadino got her golden retriever Max at Shake A Paw, a pet store on Long Island.
When Cittadino went to get Max at the pet store, she said that she signed a document that she didn't read closely enough.
"There's wording in the paperwork that says your financing X amount of dollars, although the top of the paperwork does say this is important information about your lease," Cittadino said.
Instead of paying $1,200 for Max up front, Cittadino said she paid $145.19 a month on time for two years.
Now she faces a final payment of $338.07 and might lose her dog if she doesn't pay.
"They told me they were gonna take my dog," Cittadino said.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning last month that spelled out what is required of sellers using lease agreements for pets.
Several states have already banned pet leasing.
New York State Legislature passed a ban to end puppy leasing. The bill now heads to Governor Cuomo, who would need to sign it to make it a law.
Shake A Paw said that they plan to make the final payment to the leasing company so that Cittadino can keep her dog.
Long Island family almost forced to return dog due to 'dog-leasing'
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