Since 2017, allegations of online pet scams have increased by 37%, according to a report released last week by the Better Business Bureau.
During the holiday season people are particularly vulnerable — pets are a popular gift. Deceptive advertisements can swindle your family out of money and prevent you from bringing home a healthy, happy and furry family member.
To combat fraud, buyers should brush up on how to tell the difference between responsible, authentic breeders and scammers.
Over the last three years, more than 16,000 cases of pet scams have been reported to the Better Business Bureau, with hundreds more estimated to occur this month. For cases of fraud involving dogs or puppies, roughly six in 10 involve people who paid for an animal which they never received. Others received pets that had health or genetic problems. And some that did get a healthy animal never received the proper documentation for their pet.
While we always encourage people to look to their local shelters and rescues, we know that roughly a quarter of new pet parents obtain their puppies from breeders. If you do choose to obtain a puppy from a breeder, you should make sure you have ways to know that the organization you use to find your new best friend is legitimate and will secure you a happy, healthy, and responsibly bred pet.