Two tiny Pomeranian puppies have proven to be a giant problem for 22-year-old Anthony Cook.
"It's not good, it's not good at all," Cook said.
In November, Cook purchased a female dog named Lilly from Petland at the Independence Mall for $2,135. He agreed to 25 percent interest and to pay roughly $100 a month for four years to pay for the dog.
In January, he went back to Petland and signed a second deal for a male dog, Pepper. This time, under terms of the contract, Cook had to pay $182.16 a month for two years, or more than $4,300 total, just to rent the dog.
In order to buy it, the contract says he'd have to pay an additional $300 after paying all the rental money.
Cook says he didn't understand the deal Petland's saleswoman presented him.
"I signed all this stuff and she went through it so fast, she's just like, 'Sign this, sign this,'" Cook said.
The 41 Action News Investigators went to Petland with a hidden camera. They identified themselves then asked questions about the cost of their pure bred puppies.
When asked what the puppies cost, a salesman said, "Anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000" and acknowledged it was a lot of money.
The salesman also told 41 Action News most customers like Anthony Cook finance their deals.
When asked what type of financing programs were available, the salesman said, "We have like five different ones, four of them you actually take the puppy home and without a payment for 30 days."
But when asked specifically about the rental contract, a female employee interrupted and asked for the 41 Action News Investigators contact information so a representative could answer questions.
For Cook, who has a $12 an hour job at a local hospital, he says he's already made $2,000 in payments for the two dogs. He says Petland representatives misled him.
"I think that they need to do something because this is making me really stressed out," Cook said.
When asked if he thought Petland was taking advantage of him, he said, "Yes sir, I do."
After speaking to 41 Action News on Tuesday, Cook says he returned the dogs to Petland. Under terms of his two contracts, he could be responsible for thousands of dollars if Petland decides to sue.
Cook is consulting an attorney.
A Petland spokesman said the company wouldn't sue. He also said he was seeking further information on the rent-to-own contract and would supply further information to the 41 Action News Investigators at a later time.
Andy Alcock can be reached at email@example.com.