Puppy Scams

September 29, 2010

Puppy Scams

With Christmas just around the corner, an all time favorite gift is a puppy! Breeders are gearing up for those wanting to purchase a puppy for Christmas. But buyers beware!! Every holiday season we receive inquiries from consumers about dog breeders both in our area and other areas throughout the U.S. While most breeders are reputable, there are some that don’t make the grade. One such company is a dog breeder called Hero’s Huskies located in Chappell Hill, Texas. According to the Better Business Bureau of Bryan, Texas, this business has an F rating for failure to respond to complaints filed against the business. (Show link to report http://www.bbb.org/bryan/business-reviews/dog-breeders/heros-huskies-in-chappell-hill-tx-90003611).

The American Kennel Club and the BBB offers the following advice to consumers:

  • Do your research. Ask if the breeder is a member of an AKC-affiliated club and contact that club to verify membership or check recent listings of available AKC Litters from breeders at:www.akc.org/classified/index.cfm. You can also check with the BBB (www.bbb.org) and the AKC (919-233-9767) to see if there are any complaints about the breeder. Request references and speak to other people who have purchased dogs from this breeder “especially if the breeder does not live near you.
  • Beware of breeders who seem overly concerned with getting paid. Any reputable breeder will be far more concerned with the appropriateness of the potential pet home than what and when they are getting paid. Make sure you have clear expectations- ideally in writing- of how and when the pup will be paid for. Be especially wary of any breeder who insists that you wire money and who calls to ask for more money to be wired to cover last minute shipping fees.
  • Don’t be fooled by a slick web site. Unscrupulous breeders and even outright scams can be represented by professional-looking web sites that lure you in with fraudulent pictures of adorable puppies. At the very least speak with the breeder on the telephone and ideally meet the breeder, the puppy and the dam in person. If you locate a breeder online, never send money without checking their references and credentials first. The AKC recommends that you first contact the national organization for the breed (Parent Club). It is essential to visit the breeder at their home to see the entire litter and the care and conditions given to the puppies prior to purchasing.
  • Take your time. Beware of breeders who claim to have multiple breeds ready to ship immediately. It’s highly unlikely that your perfect puppy will be available for shipping on the very day you call. Gestation and socialization of a litter takes months -- no puppy should be separated from the dam before 8 weeks of age.
  • Report a scam. Anyone who has experienced a dog-related scam should report it to their local authorities as well as their local BBB (www.bbb.org) to file a complaint. Consumers can also direct questions and concerns to AKC Customer Service at 919-233-9767, or e-mail info@akc.org.

Once you bring a puppy home, it doesn’t take long for the entire family to get attached. The more time you spend checking out a breeder beforehand the better the experience will be. So do your homework, exercise caution, ask questions and as always START WITH TRUST. Check out the company at www.bbb.org or call our office at 981-3497.