A Long Island family is struggling to keep their pet, a Golden Retriever named Max, after a company has threatened to take it back unless they make a considerable final payment.

Danielle Citizen and her family bought Max from the Shake-A-Paw pet store, in Lynbrook, New York, a couple of years ago. The adorable puppy cost $1,200, and the Citizens have chosen to use a loan from a company called Wags Lending. The company checked Danielle’s credit rating and after being approved for the loan, the woman had to fill out a bunch of documents, which she now admits she had not thoroughly examined. But Danielle believed she was getting a loan, but in reality the contract specified that she wasn’t actually buying Max, but rented it until she paid all the installments. Now the company is threatening to take the dog back.

Golden Retriever

I had no idea it was a lease,” Danielle recently told News 12 Long Island. “You know, they talked to me about financing, I was thinking about a loan.”

Danielle says she paid $ 145.19 every month, regularly, for 23 months, but then learned that she had to pay a last installment of $ 338.07 to finally become the owner of Max. She says she didn’t know about this final installment and she refused to make the payment, calling it a scam. However, Wags Lending would have called the Citizens to tell them that, unless they decide to pay the debt, they will take back the dog. The family accuses the company of scams and threats.

Citizens love Max and consider him part of their family, but refuse to be victims of what they consider bullying by the loan company. “It’s wrong, you can’t take a dog from a family, it’s been a part of their family for over two years,” Danielle said. “I’m sorry, but they won’t recover this dog, nor will they have this last payment. It is a scam!“.

Journalists report having received similar complaints from other pet owners about Wags Lending, but according to consumer rights lawyer Anthony Ballato, it’s all a matter of buyer attention: it’s always essential to read everything what you sign, and never take its contents for granted.