Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) applauded the State Senate’s unanimous passage of legislation that will outlaw the practice of leasing cats and dogs in the state of Connecticut.
Senate Bill No. 241 was amended to include a provision proposed by Sen. Fasano to ban the practice of entering into agreements to lease a dog or cat for which ownership is retained by the leasing company. The measure passed the Senate with unanimous support late last night.
“The stories I have heard about people leasing dogs and cats and then returning them are heartbreaking when you think about the animals,” said Sen. Fasano. “In many of these cases, older pets that are returned after a lease often struggle significantly to adjust to having lost their home and owner. If they cannot find new homes, these animals are often euthanized. What has been happening in these arrangements is inhumane. I applaud the State Senate for working together to pass this legislation with unanimous bipartisan support.”
The bill is similar to measures considered in other states which seek to address the problem of people returning dogs and cats after a few years of leasing a pet to a lending company or pet seller. In many of these cases, when animals are returned to a leasing company after years of companionship, the animals struggle to find new homes and are often euthanized.
The ASPCA has called pet leasing a predatory practice that preys on those who cannot afford a companion animal. Leasing arraignments sometimes come with large costs and high interest if a customer wants to purchase a pet and buy out their lease, often forcing leasers to return the animal to the company due to these predatory consumer practices. The ASPCA also points to the risk of consumers losing their pets if they miss payments or are unable to buy out their contracts. This practice creates upheaval for the animal and if a home is not found for an older animal leads to euthanization.
Nevada, California, Rhode Island and New York have passed or considered laws prohibiting pet leasing.
The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives where it must be voted on before session ends on May 9, 2018 to move to the governor’s desk.