Flex Petz, Kindness or problem in the making!  An Act Prohibiting the Renting of PetsAn Act Pro

  • by: Gini Brown
  • recipient: Animal Rights  Humane Treatment of Animals
  An Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets is needed immediately!

Flex Petz is one of the worst ideas that have happened to our culture!  Throw away dogs? Is this what we have evolved to?   Rent a pet?   A pet ownership without the obligation is just going to make animals more afraid more nervous, they will suffer because they are shuffled around without any hope of staying with the people who choose them, bonding only to be given back,  deprived of a loving home on a permanent basis, more apt to react negatively to their new renter, their health will suffer as people will not have a vested interest with their new toy.   Where is the commitment?

  This is unethical and just wrong on so many levels.   

 We will be creating a larger problem as we use pets as a new way to make money.  That right, this is all about money.  Not quality, not love, no matter how you dress it, it is wrong and must be stopped. Making it sound like a good program does not mean that it really is.

This is not about finding a use for homeless animals!  It is about making a profit, but not about quality of life. 

Please read some of the articles below, these are  from well known Animal Behaviorists and Veterinarians as well as Animal Rights Organizations to name a few.

Please help us and sign this petition and help us stop this kind of treatment of our animals.   This idea is evolving and will open in many states including Massachusetts, the UK, Washington DC, the West Coast, and more are out there.

Organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, and the Animal Coalition endorse An Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets and urge its swift passage to stop this from continuing and to stop new businesses from starting up.  To stop this from happening we must act now, stand together and make a difference.


Public Safety and Legal Issues 

  • Patricia McConnell, PhD Zoologist, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist

Renting companion dogs and cats like videotapes? To even the most stringent of scientists, it is unethical and cruel. Extensive research shows being forced into an unstable social setting causes extreme stress to group-living animals; like people, dogs and cats require the world to have predictability and familiar patterns.

Being passed around as if they were objects would be psychologically devastating to most. Dogs bite, and cats bite and scratch. If the Legislature approves a business that muddies the waters of who is responsible for an animal's behavior, one could argue that the Legislature will be equally responsible. I've been an expert witness in several bite cases (including the death of a 12-year-old girl) and have consulted attorneys often. Take it from me: This will be a legal nightmare.


Dr. McConnell has provided consultations and treatment plans for serious behavior problems in cats and dogs for over 20 years, combining the science of behavior with practical, applied training techniques. Her nationally syndicated radio show, Wisconsin Public Radio%u2019s Calling All Pets, plays in over 115 cities. She is Adjunct Associate Professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching The Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships; consulting editor, Journal of Comparative Psychology; and a much sought-after speaker worldwide. Dr. McConnell is author of nine books on training and behavioral problems.

  • Jo Jacques, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

Constantly breaking a companion animal%u2019s bonds is not only cruel, it could ruin her chance for a %u201Cforever home%u201D when the business is done with her. These animals will become distrustful of humans; they will withdraw. If  they%u2019re not adopted or it fails as a result? Off to a shelter, but older, more confused%u2014and more likely to be euthanized or spend the rest of their lives in cages.


  • Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The MSPCA supports the goal of %u201CAn Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets.%u201D The MSPCA does not adopt cats or dogs to an entity that would rent them. While FlexPetz or other organizations may claim they %u201Crescue%u201D dogs, what they are really doing is depriving (them) of being adopted by loving, permanent homes. 



  • Sgt. Charles Rudack, Acting Director of Animal Control, City of Boston

We are the caretakers of the planet, not the users. Animals should be cared for, not used. Pet rental businesses are the moral equivalent of puppy mills; both are driven by the almighty dollar, not concern for animals.


  • Animal Rescue League of Boston
The ARL opposes the practice of renting companion dogs and cats, and would not adopt or loan a pet to a pet rental (%u201Cflexible ownership%u201D) business. The ARL suggests those who are not ready to commit to pet ownership pursue more humane options, such as volunteering at a local animal shelter or helping elderly or infirm neighbors, who otherwise might have difficulty caring for beloved pets. Initiatives such as these help strengthen our communities.


      Animal Law Coalition

Animal Law Coalition, a national organization of animal law professionals, applauds the step Massachusetts has taken toward preventing a new form of animal exploitation%u2014the pet rental trade. We heartily endorse %u201CAn Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets%u201D and urge its swift passage. 

There is growing awareness, supported by sound science, of the emotional and cognitive depth of animals. As a result, the law increasingly recognizes companion animals are not property. The public has been encouraged%u2014in many communities with fines or even jail sentences%u2014to take responsibility for their pets, to reduce animal abandonment, which is not only inhumane but burdens public as well as private resources.  

The pet rental industry will surely be a setback for these advancements. These businesses

encourage the attitude that companion animals, rented or owned, can be thrown away when one tires of them or finds a newer, more interesting pet. Further, consumers renting a pet for the short-term will not know the animal nor understand how best to manage his or her behavior. There will be no sense of responsibility, no real human-animal bond. This translates into a greater risk of liability for the renter for injuries or damage. And a greater risk that the rental pet, who might otherwise have been adopted, ultimately will end up in the shelter.

  • Paul Waldau, PhD, JD, Director, Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Licensing pet rental businesses is bad public policy. At first, it might seem one is renting any number of virtues%u2014companionship, affection, play, a friend. But the realities for a rental pet are these: There is no single owner who really cares about him, no continuity of life, no real home, no consistent companion that can result in a mutual understanding. (Yes, our pets are intelligent enough to understand much of what we do for them).   

Imagine yourself the rental dog. What if you become chronically ill? Who will care for or adopt you? What if you bite out of fear or confusion, after being passed from renter to renter, one bond broken after the next? You%u2019re excess merchandise, and no business can hold onto excess.  

Relationships with pets don%u2019t just happen; we need to earn the affections, affiliations, connections that are the rewards of a responsible companion animal relationship. Those rewards are precisely what make the relationship unique and so very, very valuable. Not only does (renting a pet) treat a living being as solely a commodity, it also treats our own connections and affections as if they can be called out upon demand. Imagine our horror at %u201Crent-a-kid.%u201D That revulsion comes because renting a relationship is, frankly, a contradiction in terms. 


The New York Sun ran this response regarding Flex Petz:

Submitted by Ruby, Oct 29, 2007 16:22

There is NO comparison between shuttling a dog from human to human so other humans can profit and volunteering to spend time with a lonely child, who, as member of a family, relates to the same individuals every day, sleeps under the same roof every night, and is part of a social structure.

The more apt comparison would be between Big Brother/Sister and volunteers who spend time with lonely, abandoned dogs--which is what Flex Petz' dogs likely will become (or worse--killed) if they're not rented often enough, or grow old and ill, or bite because they're traumatized from being passed around like rental car. And you do understand how humans treat rental cars, don't you?

At the end of the day, Flex Petz is a business. No business can hold onto excess inventory and still turn a profit. And, as it seems to have escaped you, make no mistake: To Ms. Cervantes and her investors, dogs are commodities, inventory, not living, breathing beings with the same range of emotions as humans. No one who believes the latter could rent out an animal for profit...or pay to rent an animal for one's own amusement.

If Flex Petz succeeds, we all lose: the rental dogs and those who lose their humanity by renting them, dog who, in the future, will be more readily abandoned because of the mindset Flex Petz advances, that animals are disposable commodities. And, ultimately, society loses too. Aren't we already shallow enough?

Please help us make a difference, stop pets from being rented out.   Act today...  Let us stop this from happening.  Stop companion pets from being rented out daily or hourly.  Help us make a stand.
We the undersigned ask to halt the senseless renting of animals.  Ask our elected officials to stop this kind of behavior before it gains momentum.  Animals are not "things" to be rented  out like a DVD. 

Thank you for your urgent attention to this problem.   Let's make a difference today.  Act now.

Thank You.........
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