Rep. Lima to introduce legislation to ban 'forever pets'
STATE HOUSE - Calling the recent news story concerning “Rent/lease a Pet” practices by some Rhode Island pet shops “alarming, cruel and absurd”, Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) has introduced legislation (2017-H 6216) to prohibit any business or individual in Rhode Island from renting, leasing, or in any other way offering a live animal for sale as a “forever pet” other than by a full outright sale.
The legislation will make the renting or leasing of a “forever pet” a cruelty to animal violation punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. Additionally any business engaging in the renting or leasing of a “forever pet” will have their retail business license subject to revocation. Any financial institution offering a loan of any kind for the renting or leasing of a “forever pet” will also be subject to fines and criminal prosecution.
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) is a co-sponsor of the legislation. “This is an abomination,” he said. “This is animal cruelty in its worst form.”
The practice of renting or leasing a “forever pet” is nothing more than an unscrupulous business practice designed to fleece the buyer out of their money by charging exorbitant interest rates much like the practices of payday lenders. They prey on the emotions of the less affluent by inducing them to enter into high interest loans, the so-called lease/rent pet agreements, in order to afford a high priced “forever pet”.
Becoming a pet owner involves more than just the initial purchase of a pet. It is a commitment to many additional costs beyond the original cost of the “forever pet”. If someone is induced into spending more on an expensive pet than they can afford by these ridiculous payday lender type pet rental or leasing agreements how can they hope to afford the medical, food and other costs associated with responsible pet ownership. Ultimately, if they are unable to keep up the payments, the “forever pet” is repossessed much like a used car. This is cruel to the animal and the pet owner. It must be stopped now!
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903