Beware of Puppy Scams!

Puppy Scams

This is a picture on a puppy scam site.

As hard is it is to believe, puppy scams are on the rise. With the coronavirus and having to stay isolated, people have been searching more for a new stay at home companion.  According to American Humane, puppy scams have spiked in recent years due to the increased demand, especially in puppies.

According to the Better Business Bureau, complaints regarding pet scams have roughly doubled since last year in the U.S. and Canada, and a staggering three out of four sites advertising puppies are fake.

Here’s how the Puppy Scams Work

When searching for a particular type of dog or breed you are likely to come across numerous websites featuring their dogs. While not all scams are exactly the same, look for tell tale signs.

  • All their puppies are available. A good breeder will have some puppies already reserved. A group of 8 beautiful puppies, all at 12 weeks old, should be a trigger that something is not right.
  • Asking only $800 for a genuine breed when a comparable dog would run up to $3,000.
  • Testimonials don’t make sense because they are copied. Look for triggers like “We paid $3000 but it was worth it.”  The scammer is now only wanting $800 and only because they want a good home for their puppies!
  • They have websites which are just fronts for their illegal activity.
  • There was no phone number or address on the website. The scammer just started texting all their info and what payment methods they accept. They asked questions like other real breeders:
    • Have you ever had a dog or one like this breed.
    • They will ask where you live and then they will be across country so you will have to have the puppy delivered.
    • They will ask for money. Usually much lower than the going price.
    • They then will direct you to a fake delivery company.

How to find a Reputable Breeder or Puppy Source

  • Many reputable breeders are now registered with a screening company like Good Dog. 
  • PupQuest is recommended from the Humane Society as a guide for finding a responsible source.
  • Ask to see the puppy in person. It may take more time, but since you will have this dog for 10 to 20 years you need to take the time.
  • Consider the benefits of adopting a shelter or rescue dog.
  • Inquire from Dr. Whitworth at Whitworth Animal Clinic for sources he is familiar with.

The Emotions of Getting A Puppy

Once you decide you want a puppy your emotions can run rampant. Looking at pictures of puppies can melt you heart and kill your common sense. You may think you could never be scammed, but this is different. Puppies are adorable and you have become vulnerable. Be patient, ask lots on questions, and be cautious.