It is sickening how many people come to me after being scammed out of $100’s by a puppy
scammer. These people are ruthless and prey upon people who are eager to find their next best
friend. The emotions of securing this sweet puppy they see in the pictures overshadow when
normally they would be more cautious.
Let’s stop these evil beings from scamming the elderly, and from preying on totally innocent
people that are just trying to buy a puppy.
What is a puppy scam?
Almost every day, I have people comment on my Facebook page. They will link to a photo of a
very cute puppy. Just because they have a picture of an adorable puppy or even litter, does not
mean they even have a puppy. Almost always, they have simply downloaded a photo from the
internet or a breeder site like mine. They do not own the puppy, or any puppy for that matter.
No legitimate breeder would try and poach customers from another breeder’s facebook page.
Only respond to comments or messages directly from the breeder, not someone claiming to
In 2021, 35% of all online scams reported to the Better Business Bureau were puppy scams!
These heartless scammers pose as a breeder and collect payments for a dog that does not
How can you avoid being scammed?
They ask you to make a deposit before you see the puppy. This is a tough one. As a reputable
breeder in Tampa, Florida, I often receive deposits on future litters. The puppies aren’t even
born yet, and our litters often are presold. However, I am in touch with these customers, and we
have discussed at length what they are looking for. Placing a deposit on a waitlist is far more
However, anyone posting a picture of a puppy over 4 weeks that won’t let you visit in
person…that’s a huge red flag! Never, ever send a stranger money for a puppy until you have at
least video/facetime to see that indeed they are a breeder, and actually own puppies for sale.
Deposits are non-negotiable. If they ask for a high amount i.e $1000, then the next day offer you
a reduced deposit of $350, then that’s a huge red flag!
Venmo, Paypal and Zelle do not support animal sales. If they are asking for money via Paypal
Friends and Family, run a mile!!
Beware of Craiglist and Facebook Market Place for puppies. Legitimate breeders will not sell on
these sites, and even if you do, remember, you get what you pay for. Backyard breeders and
Puppy Mills are the only puppy sellers that can sell a dog for $800 and even hope to break
even. If the cost is too good to be true, then likely it is!
Reverse image search like Google to see if the pictures have been stolen from a legitimate
If they ask you outrageous things such as paying them in Gift cards, or they will deliver the
puppy to you, and you can’t see it first, avoid these scammers at all costs!
Good breeders want to meet or at least video call so they can meet you and allow you to ask all
your questions. They are protective over their puppies, but serious buyers should always be
welcome to see puppies over 4 weeks of age.
Most importantly, Look for an established breeder. A website with blogs, updated photos as well
as social media that is regularly updated. Scammers don’t take the enormous time to update
their facebook page and create endless videos and create graphics. Also, look for reviews such
as Google. Legitimate breeders have the review, and scammers don’t!