You’ve probably heard the story before from a friend. Rather than simply adopting a puppy from a rescue organization, she searched for a puppy to buy, contacted a seller, saw a picture of a puppy, and fell in love. But then something went wrong. She sent money, but the puppy never arrived or the seller failed to show up at the agreed-upon location. Or worse yet, she got the puppy but it had severe health issues or never received its required shots, causing your friend to either lose the puppy early or spend thousands of dollars on veterinarian bills. Before another friend goes through the process of getting that new four-legged family member, make sure she’s aware of the dangers of puppy scams. The emotional connection between a puppy and a prospective owner can happen extremely quickly, which is exactly why it can be dangerous for the buyer.
Illegal sellers and scam artists thrive on taking advantage of that emotional connection. Make sure your friends know they shouldn’t purchase puppies via Craigslist or Facebook. These free websites are havens for puppy scams in which scammers post fake pictures to catch people’s interest.
Help Your Friends Get the Puppy of Their Dreams by Avoiding Scams
Urge your friends to ask to see each seller’s references before even agreeing to meet a new puppy. Often these references (or lack thereof) are the first set of red flags. If the references do check out, your friends should always meet the puppy and meet the puppy’s mother. It is also a good idea to inspect the litter’s living arrangements to avoid buying from a puppy mill. If everything is still on the up-and-up, your friends must get a copy of the dog’s vaccination history to ensure the puppy has received all of its required shots.
Even after covering all those bases, it’s still possible the puppy has undiagnosed health issues – which the seller is under no obligation to handle after concluding the sale. Buying a puppy is an emotional and exciting process, but that emotion can often cause prospective new owners to turn a blind eye to red flags. Help your friends by keeping them aware of the risks of purchasing from an independent seller, the steps involved in ensuring a proper purchase, and the benefits of adoptionfrom a reputable organization over buying from a seller.