NASSAU COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- 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 you're 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.
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Long Island family almost forced to return dog due to 'dog-leasing'