Despite increasing awareness, many pet owners are falling victim to buying pets via the internet, that don’t actually exist.
Thu 30 Mar 2017
Despite increasing awareness, many pet owners are falling victim to buying pets via the internet, that don’t actually exist. We have received several emails recently, regarding the sale of puppies on various selling websites on the internet. The listings sit alongside adverts for second hand cars, sofas and golf clubs. Often these puppies do not exist, and excited potential new owners part with vast sums of money, don’t receive their puppy, and lose their money. It’s a despicable crime that affects genuine, caring owners dreaming of a new family pet.
Websites are taking action on fake adverts, but often not in time to protect vulnerable buyers. We’re frequently seeing adverts being taken down as they are exposed as scams. If you do see an advert that looks suspicious, don’t be afraid to report it, and keep reporting such adverts!
We’ve seen pups advertised as KC registered and bred by accredited breeders, with no evidence to prove this. We have seen adverts, that show pictures of puppies that have actually traced to America, Europe and beyond, but are reported to be for sale in this country. We’ve seen 2 images of bitches that are in fact dogs, and living happily with their owners! So, be careful out there! Sadly, as soon as an advert is removed, another tends to take its place, and so the trade continues.
In an ideal world, it would be great if the sale of pets were banned from such websites, but there is no legislation in place so far, so don’t be afraid to contact a website if you feel it is unsuitable.
Unfortunately all breeds are vulnerable to this kind of exploitation, but generally it’s the more valuable breeds that are affected, including hybrid dogs, large pedigrees and Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers etc.
It’s always a good idea to go the Kennel Club website if you are looking for a specific pedigree breed. Their database will list accredited breeders with expected litters and current litters available.
Here’s a few suggestions to consider If you do answer an advert on the internet.
No. There are genuine adverts on such sites. Dog owners may not be accredited breeders or simply have a litter from the family pet. Owners with working type dogs such as Spaniels often advertise on these sites as well. You just have to do all the checks recommended above to make sure that an advert is offering something genuine.
The truth is we really don’t know. Quite often people feel embarrassed or ashamed after losing their money, and simply don’t report it. Although awareness of these scams is increasing, fraud is still occurring as fake advertisers are often very plausible, and usually one step ahead.
We’d love to hear your story. So please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org