How much is that doggie in the window? If you’re buying it from a breeder that engages in pet leasing, it could be years of monthly payments significantly above the pup’s sticker price (plus fees), or else your pooch risks repossession. Woof. However, the rent-to-own pet contracts may soon be banned in New Jersey as lawmakers push legislation to prohibit the practice. Sen. Bernie Sanders also vowed to push legislation in Philadelphia Monday, as he rallied against Hahnemann’s closure and said he’d introduce laws to help prevent other hospitals from facing the same fate.

When Scott and Patricia Smith of Little Falls, N.J. went to the pet store looking for a new furry friend last summer, they fully expected to fall in puppy love and bring home a four-legged addition to their family. What they didn’t see coming was that Chase, their fluffy white Maltese, was at risk of being repossessed.

Pet leasing — not unlike leasing a car or home appliance — requires owners to fork over contractual monthly payments and fees for years or face the threat of losing their family pet. In lawsuits, owners like the Smiths claim they were duped into signing the pricey contracts, believing they were agreeing to pay for the animal rather than entering into a years-long, rent-to-own arrangement costing much more than the sticker price of their pooch.

Now, New Jersey lawmakers are pushing to join several other states in banning the practice of renting pets.

Speaking to a crowd of about 1,500 outside Hahnemann University Hospital Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied against the facility’s closure, calling it “a question of basic human morality.” He touted his Medicare for All plan, and vowed to introduce legislation to reserve $20 billion in emergency funds to help states buy hospitals in financial distress.

Hahnemann’s emergency room has already begun winding down, and as the hospital’s complete planned closure creeps closer, some medical residents are facing the added stress of potential deportation.

President Donald Trump’s behavior and comments have led to abysmal approval ratings among women, but he’s hoping to improve his standing — starting in Pennsylvania. The national “Women for Trump” campaign kicks off in King of Prussia today, encouraging women across the country to fundraise, register voters, and vouch for the president.

At the same time, Trump has doubled down on his tweets urging four Democratic members of Congress — all women of color — to “go back” to the countries they came from. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, have criticized the president’s statements. For Philly-area immigrants and people of color, the racist, six-word-trope carries a particular sting.

On Monday, the Trump administration also announced it will immediately begin enforcing abortion restrictions against taxpayer-funded family planning clinics — a move hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups.

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“La Salle was built on the values of the Christian Brothers order who are guided by faith, service, and community ... And now my fellow Explorers, it is time to prove our values.” — Dena Ferrara Driscoll, a 2006 graduate of La Salle University and public space advocate, on why the school should open its campus pool to Northwest Philly residents.

  • Firearm violence in Philadelphia is at a crisis point, and ignoring its context cannot lead to any long-term solutions, writes Dr. Ruth M. Abaya, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia and other large cities have too much to gain to set aside the fight for fixing prison gerrymandering, the Inquirer Editorial Board writes.

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Single Barrel Sam, Larry Humprey of Lake Gaston, North Carolina aims his revolver at the silhouette targets at the Matamoras Gun Club in Westfall Township in the Cowboy Action event.
FRED ADAMS / For The Inquirer
Single Barrel Sam, Larry Humprey of Lake Gaston, North Carolina aims his revolver at the silhouette targets at the Matamoras Gun Club in Westfall Township in the Cowboy Action event.

A Daily Dose of | Yeehaw

It may be closer to New York City than cow country, but for at least one weekend each year, the Matamoras Rod & Gun Club in Northeast Pennsylvania becomes the Wild West, where folks like “Loose Change,” “Zigaddy Zag,” “Cholula Mike,” and “Spinning Sally” gather for a round of good, old-fashioned cowboy action shooting.