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How much is that puppy in the window ... per month?

A full-service pet leasing business claims to make keeping and caring for a pet easier than ever.

By Vetstreet Jan 15, 2013 4:13PM

By Dr. Patty Khuly

Yes, that’s right. If you’re so inclined, you can say goodbye to the old days when you owned a pet and took care of his needs yourself. Instead, you can now elect to “adopt” a pet for a monthly fee and live comfortably with the knowledge that your adored family member gets all the meals, supplies and healthcare he needs — except that he’s not really your pet.

Hannah the Pet Society is a new company that’s taking the concept of pet placement and animal healthcare to what its founder believes is the next level: a full-service pet leasing business that claims to make keeping and caring for a pet easier than ever.

Photo: ThinkstockHow it works
You pick out a pet in one of two Portland, Ore., storefronts (the first of their kind) and agree to pay a set monthly fee to cover the cost of his lease, food, basic supplies and veterinary care. Prospective pet keepers can choose a dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig knowing that if it doesn’t work out, they can always return him.

The sales pitch
Offering you everything that your pet needs in a convenient, one-payment-a-month approach means more people can budget appropriately for their pets and feel secure in the knowledge that they will not want for anything. The service gets more animals into more homes, with fewer reasons for relinquishment to shelters — or so the sales pitch claims.

Bing: Find out where to adopt a pet

The catch
The downside is that you don’t actually have any legal control over your pet. Not only does the company reserve the right to repossess your pet — say, if you should fail to make timely payments — but it's in charge of all of your pet's nutrition, wellness care and medical decisions, too.

This veterinarian's concerns
This latter point is largely why veterinarians like me are uncomfortable with pet services like Hannah’s. The fact that the person most invested in the life of the pet isn’t responsible for major medical decisions is somewhat unsettling. And knowing that a for-profit company with actuarial tables to consult and books to balance is in charge of someone you love should send shivers down your spine.

Read the rest of the story here.

Photo: Thinkstock

More from Vetstreet:
Rent-a-Pet Cafes Are All the Rage
10 Hottest Dog Names for 2013
Should I Get My Pet a Flu Shot?
Veterinarian’s Surprising Confession
13 Dog Breeds Ideal for Apartment Living

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151Comments
Jan 15, 2013 6:18PM
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Are you kidding me??  So, these pets can be ripped out of their homes if Hannah deems it necessary or people can just take the pet back if it 'doesn't work out'?  How horrible for the pet.  They can just be passed around and around.  And then Hannah can decide if your pet deserves the possible life-saving medical care it may need?  Shut them down!!
Jan 15, 2013 6:17PM
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Only in America! hmmmm, maybe ill open up a store that rents out human babies....

Jan 15, 2013 6:16PM
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I also worry about what happens to the "rental pets" when they become old or if the breed goes out of fashion. If the company can no longer lease them for a profit, do they end up at the pound?
Jan 15, 2013 6:15PM
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WTF?! Pets should not be things you can just rent! They are living beings, no different than human children that form bonds and relationships with their adopted family! Utterly sickening this business exists!  
Jan 15, 2013 6:12PM
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stupid idea.  if you feel the need to take a pet for a "test drive", you don't need a pet.  buy yourself a nice fern instead.
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