Adding a new member to your family can be an exciting and patience-trying experience, but don’t let your anticipation of your new arrival let you forget that not all individuals selling dogs or puppies are accountable, reputable breeders.
Unfortunately, as more breeders start to use technology to showcase their kennels and dogs, scammers and identity thieves can sometimes access this information and use it nefariously.
Common signs that might indicate your puppy is not coming from an accountable breeder include:
- Have a look at their kennel website. While their page may be flashy - anyone can get a website made within hours for a couple hundred dollars - check to see if their photos are unique to them. Are they using stock images? Have they taken photos from another breeder’s website? It only takes a few clicks to steal an image. Also, check the creation date on their website. If it is relatively recent, it could be a red flag. A good check to do is to get the breeder’s first and last name and go a search that includes their name along with their breed. Most experienced and responsible breeders will appear on a few pages including their breed club’s breeder referral list and some of their dogs’ show and/or performance accomplishments are likely to show up as well.
- The seller will not provide a documented receipt, including their full name, contact details, and address, for proof of deposit or purchase
- The price of the puppies seems “too good to be true”
- The advertisement uses terms like “rare” and/or the price of puppies varies depending on genetic characteristics like coat colour or type, eye colour or body size
- You aren’t allowed to pick up your own puppy to bring home, but instead must use a “courier” or “pet delivery service” to transport them but the seller won’t specify the company they will use
- The seller only accepts payment through services like Western Union or MoneyGram
- The price of transportation for puppies coming from out of country is exceptionally low OR the seller claims to have unexpected extra costs arise