Baldwin family accuses pet lending company of scam, threats

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BALDWIN -

A Baldwin woman who financed the purchase of her dog is accusing a pet lending company of ripping her off and threatening to take her new pooch away.

Danielle Cittadino and her family bought their golden retriever Max at the Shake-A-Paw in Lynbrook.

The dog cost $1,200 but Cittadino says she didn't have money upfront, so she took a financing option.

When she went to the pet shop, the family had to fill out paperwork for Wags Lending. She says she didn't know exactly what they were getting themselves into, but once they were approved — they brought Max home.

Without fully understanding the process, Cittadino says she and and her family were leasing the dog from Wags Lending, a company that says it provides affordable leasing to pet lovers.

"I had no idea it was a lease," Cittadino says. "They tell me — I hear financing — it's a loan."

Cittadino says she made payments of $145.19 a month on time for 23 months — but now she says the lender is asking her to make a final lease payment of $338.07. 

She says that Wags Lending called to tell her that if she doesn't make that last payment, it will repossess Max.

News 12 found similar complaints from people online who used Wags Lending.

Consumer rights attorney Anthony Ballato says it all comes down to buyer beware.

"It really sounds like a scare tactic that they're phrasing it as a lease and saying they have a right of repossession if you don't make full and timely payments," Ballato said.

Cittadino says she will not be making the last payment and will not give back her family's dog.

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