Adopt, Don’t Shop… or lease?

By on August 19, 2018

Last weekend, the Nebraska Humane Society participated in a national “Clear the Shelters” event in an attempt to do what its title suggested- adopt out the 300+ animals that were then under the care of the Omaha shelter. Adult cats were free. Kittens were two for $50. Adoption fees for dogs and other critters were also discounted big time.

The shelter sent a ton of animals out the door. We hope they all stay in their adoptive homes, but not all will. Many folks adopted this past weekend because of the low price, not realizing or accepting the long-term costs associated with keeping a companion animal. That’s maddening.

If there’s a silver lining, we know a number of those animals will stay in those homes forever. Another is that folks are adopting instead of shopping. Or leasing.

Leasing? Yes, the pet stores know that many folks allow the emotional part of their brains take over before the rational kicks in, thinking about the cuddling first and then (if much at all) price tag. And armed with this knowledge, there’s a relatively new ploy of leasing an animal to folks who want the $1,000 puppy in the window, but don’t have the cash to make the deal today. Stores will allow customers to finance the purchase for a number of months or years, just like a car or home loan with interest and a down payment. And just like when one defaults on a home loan, the repo man will come to swiftly send the puppy from whence he came.

Here’s an article Omaha’s CBS affiliate published recently that highlights one case in Colorado where a woman financed a $1,600 dog without sitting down to have a think first. Now, interest and all other terms of the contract have come to roost and she’ll pay more than the original price tag, if she’s able to pay some lump sum to keep her dog.

Please, please, please, people- if you are looking for a new companion, consider not only the up-front cost, but think about what it takes to maintain that animal’s health and well-being for its life. If you’re not one who thinks that far ahead, just think about what it will cost to get your pup fed, immunized, etc. during the first year. Can’t imagine stretching your dollars that far? Leave the pup behind.

Leasing is just another way the pet stores are preying upon your limbic system, drawing you in with the cuteness and need to snuggle a new furry friend. Adopt, don’t shop. And, we’ll add, only do it if you’ve got the means and commitment.

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