CROMWELL, CT — As temperatures begin to warm up many consumers find it a good time to add a new pet to their family. BBB Serving Connecticut (BBB) urges consumers to treat the decision to get a puppy as seriously as you would any other major purchase.
There are a number of things to keep in mind before purchasing a new puppy like buying food, medical costs, having enough time to train them and providing enough space for them to live and play in. Before rescuing or purchasing a dog make sure you're fully ready for your new friend and also make sure that you're not walking into a scam.
The internet may be the most convenient way to purchase some items, but it's not always the best way to purchase a pet. According to a 2018 study, experts say that a shocking 80% of sponsored advertisements about pets may be fake.
Since January 2019, Connecticut consumers claim to have lost nearly $6,000 in online puppy scams via BBB Scam Tracker. All types of scams are terrible but puppy scams can be especially hurtful since consumers often become emotionally invested in adding a new family member to their household.
BBB Serving Connecticut is sharing some tips to help consumers avoid falling for a puppy scam.
- Don't buy a pet without seeing it in person. Do an internet search of the picture of the pet you are looking to purchase. If the same picture appears on multiple websites, you may be dealing with a scam.
- Never pay a stranger through a money order, Western Union or Moneygram. Always use a credit card in case you need to dispute the charges. If the seller demands payment through other methods that you don't feel comfortable with, you may want to find another seller.
- Make sure prices make sense. Research prices for the breed you are interested in adopting. If someone is advertising a purebred dog for free or at a deep discount, it could be a scam.
- Research the seller and obtain references. Visit bbb.org to check the reputation of an online seller or breeder. Ask the breeder for references and contact people who have bought puppies from them in the past.
- Consider adopting or buying locally. Visit your local shelter and see if rescuing a dog may be right for you. When you purchase an animal from out-of-state without seeing it first, there is no way to know how healthy or young it is, or even if the pet exists at all.