Are you planning to purchase a puppy on the internet? Here are a few things to think about before buying that dog on the Internet.
According to the Better Business Bureau, aside from reputable breeders, there is widespread fraud involving the sale of purebred puppies and pets for adoption.
Buyers complain about losing hundreds and even thousands of dollars by purchasing purebred puppies from deceptive and unethical breeders online.
“We love our pets, we get excited about them and our emotions often play into these scams,” says Connecticut Better Business Bureau’s Executive Communications Director, Howard Schwartz. “Con artists know this and they try to lure clients with various offers, such as a pedigree pup for half of the common market price.”
The ASPCA says many puppies sold through these sorts of websites come from puppy mills. With the use of slick websites, scammers usually lift photographs and descriptions of dogs from other websites.
Buying a puppy online has risks – expensive risks!
Usually, scamming websites offer a purebred puppy for a price that is oddly lower than their legitimate market value. Of course, who wouldn’t want to get a purebred puppy for a lesser price? But aside from the low price, unsuspecting victims are then asked to pay extra fees for shipping, paperwork, veterinary visits, vaccinations, special shipping crates and unnecessary insurance.
Unfortunately, there is also the heartbreak when the buyer goes to the airport to pick up their puppy and the dog never arrives.
BBB warns consumers that buying a puppy from a classified website also poses serious problems. Sellers will ask for money to be sent in advance by wire transfer or other unsecured methods. But since a lot of these scammers are based in other countries, it will be hard to track their locations.
Another issue involving classified ads is that there are operators who steal family pets, and re-sell them through classified ads to unsuspecting buyers.
How to avoid getting puppy-scammed!
For those who are looking to get a new family member, Better Business Bureau has some tips.
Consider buying locally – It is best to purchase a puppy from a breeding facility you can visit and check. When you have a puppy shipped from another area, you will never know how that puppy has been treated, how healthy or young the pup is and whether or not there is a puppy at all.
Don’t let a fancy website fool you – A flashy website does not always mean it is run by a trustworthy seller. Some of the scammers’ websites may disappear and start up again on a different site under a different name.
Make sure the price is right – Research the common price of a given breed. If the asking price is too good to be true, chances are it is a scam.
Research the seller and obtain references – Visit bbb.org to check the reputation of an online seller, breeder, or distributor. You can also ask the breeder for references and contact people who have bought puppies from them in the past. Try to talk to their previous buyers to check for issues that may not be immediately apparent, such as genetic problems.
Ask for medical records and pedigree – Get written copies of all medical the puppy has received, including vaccinations and antibiotics. Take these records to your vet during the first examination, which should be within a few days of bringing your puppy home.
When purchasing a purebred dog, make sure the breeder provides documentation of the parents’ registration with the appropriate kennel club. This ensures that the dog you purchased is in fact a legitimate pure-bred dog. After that, it will be your responsibility to register your pet with the appropriate kennel club.
Beware because scammers can fake papers. Take your time, do your research and consider taking home a rescue pet from a local shelter.
Source: Fox CT