Puppy scams are wrecking the holidays

Puppy scams are wrecking the holidays

Before we get to the heart of the matter, please don’t buy a pet for someone as a surprise gift. Any pet is a responsibility that should be taken seriously and not done as a whim.

Now it seems between COVID and the upcoming holidays, puppy scams are becoming more and more common. The most typical puppy scam is when you buy a puppy online and the supposed breeder keeps hitting you with fees and expenses. Often the scammers will say they need extra money for insurance, shipping, or a special crate that the puppy needs. Other times, they’ll ask for extra money for supposed problems that have come up in shipping or supposed medical needs for the puppy. Then not only is the puppy never delivered, but it also doesn’t even exist. Recently, there seems to be a rash of these kinds of scams. We’ve seen reports from people who have lost $300 to someone who lost $9000.

Just because someone has a website and claims to be a breeder, that doesn’t make them one. Scammers can have a website set up in minutes with pictures of dogs that they pulled off of Google Image Search.

Your best bet is to always shop local from a reputable breeder. Do your research before purchasing a pet. Do a web search with the breeder’s name and the words ‘fraud’ or ‘scam’ to see if there have been any complaints against them. A reverse image search can often tell you if a fake breeder is pulling images off of other websites which is a definite indicator of a scam. Avoid any offers that are below the usual price for that particular breed. That’s how scammers often lure in their victims.

As always, we recommend adopting a pet from your local shelter. Some shelters even have waiting lists if you’re looking for a particular breed. If you’re not looking for a particular breed we still recommend visiting your local shelter. Not only will you save a lot of money but you never know which animal there will capture your heart.