According to the Better Business Bureau, scams targeting pet lovers in search of a new dog or puppy are growing. America’s most popular pet has been in high demand this past year because of the COVID virus and resulting lockdown. With millions of people working from home, many decided to turn to man’s best friend to ease the loneliness from the isolation. Inevitably, with the increased interest in canine companionship, more scammers have been targeting buyers and taking their money. How much money? More than $2 million in 2020 alone from American and Canadian buyers. With some purebred dogs costing more than $1,000, scammers are attracted to the quick profits and are unhindered by ethics.
Pet Scammers Are Drawn to the Simplicity of Setting Up Shop.
One of the problems, of course, is that literally anyone can create a Facebook page or a website, find some cute photos, put up a phone number or an email address, and be in business. It is not uncommon for breeders to ship puppies to different states, so it is easy for a scammer to create a similar website and blend in with the legitimate sellers.
Blue Collar Pet Transport is concerned by the rise in puppy scams and wants to give suggestions to those who would like a new fur buddy but are unsure how to find a real seller.
Try to Get Recommendations on Breeders from Those in the Industry.
First, be careful of Craigslist. Both legitimate and fake sellers are mixed on this platform, and it can be difficult to tell the difference. Instead, ask a veterinarian, trainer, or dog association for recommendations on where to buy your pal. While there is no way to completely reduce the risk of being the victim of a puppy scam, seeking suggestions from people already in the industry could steer you past unethical breeders.
Visit the Puppy If At All Possible.
Second, see the puppy or dog in person. Try to find a breeder that is within driving distance so that you can meet your buddy and see the conditions that it lives in. Meet with the breeder and ask them questions about the dog’s health, vaccinations, and history. Avoid buying a puppy from someone who lives too far away for you to visit. If the breeder refuses to let you see the puppy or gives a story about why it’s not possible, this is a red flag. You should find a different breeder no matter how cute the dog’s photo might be.
Be Careful When Paying for Your Puppy.
Third, watch for the types of payment the breeder accepts. It is generally much easier to obtain a refund from credit cards or VISA debit cards, for example, so scammers often insist on other forms of payment. While the use of Zelle or Venmo is increasing in popularity, refunds from them can be difficult at best, so be careful if the breeder requests them or something less mainstream.
Your Breeder Should Be Asking You Lots of Questions, Too.
Blue Collar Pet Transport says that any ethical breeder will want to make sure you are a good fit for their puppy. You should not be the only one asking questions; instead, the breeder should be looking into your background to be certain they will put their puppy into a good home. A breeder who is not interested in you is another potential tipoff.
Blue Collar Pet Transport’s Takeaway for Those Bringing Home a Puppy
A new puppy is an exciting event in your life, and it will add joy to your home. With a little bit of research and some caution, you will be able to find that perfect friend who will give you the loyalty and fun you are looking for.