There is nothing that makes us happier than finding other members of online forums educating puppy shoppers. We spotted one such member (Catherine O'Connor) who posted this information that we wanted to share because it's valuable, accurate and important. Her posts are shared below (with permission, of course). They also mentions some very well known brokers in our area that people seem to recommend repeatedly just because they have "available puppies." Here are her posts:
SPOTTING PUPPY BROKERS
It’s easy to be fooled by some of these very sophisticated broker run puppy mill networks into thinking you’re making a responsible choice. Not only are some of these networks so large & have so many breeders producing for them it’s hard to tell who’s who name wise (and easy to shed complaints & bad reviews by just starting a new LLC.) but some of them present themselves as downright wholesome, religious, pro-family & absolutely anti-puppy mill. Don’t fall for these animal abusers tricks. Make sure to do your homework!
SPOTTING PUPPY SCAMS:
With the shortage of puppies from the pandemic & people growing more impatient by the day to find one, scammers have swarmed these kinds of groups to make easy money. The admins delete all day & do their best but it’s extremely overwhelming as these scammers switch up their identities so fast; its just impossible to keep them out of these groups. So It’s up to you do the vetting but If you take these 4 steps it weeds out almost all of them.
1. ALWAYS reverse image search every picture they send you or post. That eliminates almost all of them from the jump because they just use found pictures on the internet as their own. If you don’t know how just google it - there are a million different free pages that allow you to do it & show you how step by step.
2. ALWAYS speak on the phone.
3. ALWAYS get and then ACTUALLY check the Vet reference by first googling them to make sure they are an actual Vet & they did not give you a spoofed internet number & then call them yourselves.
4. Never wire them money. Use PayPal or something that both protects you as the consumer (and will refund you in the event of an issue) & verifies their identity before they can collect their money. *Always click the business option on PayPal not the friends & family. It’s worth the small fee PayPal charges to insure your investment.
Do these 4 things and be skeptical of any breeder that does not have a waiting list right now as almost every reputable one does! Best of luck everyone!🐾🍀
STOP THE SCAMS: PART 2
I’ve seen 3 posts across the Cavachon groups I’m in from people who got scammed today. So whether it’s someone pretending to be a breeder or someone pretending to have a dog to rehome, if you’re in the market for a puppy & you’re worried or new to this, here’s how to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.
Someone sending you a few pictures of a cute puppy with a few Facebook messages & then asking you for a deposit is not even close to enough.
Check for signs of legitimacy. When was their Facebook page created. Look at their pictures on their profile, cover pic, profile pic, timeline pics -were they all uploaded the same day? Who liked/commented on their pics? Does it seem like normal kind of engagement from friends/family or do their comments & likes more closely resemble bots or foreign nationals?
For breeders- when was their Facebook business page created? how many likes do they have? Do they have their review section turned on? Do they have any? Check the community section, any posts? Are they advertising 6 different kinds of dogs? Red flag. Do they not outwardly say where they are located or discuss lineage? Red flags. No phone number or other contact info? Red flag. Most real breeders have websites, ask for theirs.
Still can’t tell? Take those cute puppy pics they sent you & do a reverse image search on google images to see if they’re real or if they’ve just lifted them from someplace/someone else. If nothing comes up ask if you can come visit to meet the puppy, see the parents etc. At the very least you want to do a live FaceTime video call with the person the profile is presenting to be (don’t accept any excuses as to why you’re now dealing with someone else or seeing a different dog or can’t see the dog you’d be getting) to see the puppy, or if not born yet, the parents & where they care for their dogs.
Ask lots of questions. If you’re met with any resistance or sales pressure- move on. https://bedogsmart.org/…/questions-to-ask-a-breeder-before…/
Ask for recommendations here for Breeders people have used & then start doing your homework. Google them for possible complaints, to find reviews etc. Whether it’s a breeder or someone rehoming a pet you need to not only get verifiable references - but you need to then actually check them too. From a breeder you want to talk (not text, not email but actually TALK) to satisfied customers AND their Vet & for anyone rehoming definitely a Vet reference.
Never send any money via Western Union or any other money wiring services. Avoid using Venmo or Zelle .Too much sensitive personal financial info at risk. If a deposit is required try to use PayPal if possible. Not only do you have payment protection you also don’t have to give out any credit card or address information. If that’s no good, the next safest bet is your credit card because of the charge back protection.
That’s all I can think of offhand, if anyone has anything else please chime in, & don’t forget everyone - there’s just not an abundance of puppies right now due to the COVID-19 rush - so if it’s really cheap or it looks too good to be true-it probably is! Trust your gut! Best of luck everyone!❤️
Covid. Time at home to train, loneliness, a desire to do something for the kids and general depression have lots of people looking for the same thing - a new puppy, man's best friend and companionship! The frantic search began the first week of March and has shown NO SIGNS of slowing down with tons of new posts on Facebook forums every day with a family looking for a new puppy. Sadly, many of them have just come up with this idea and don't realize they are weeks behind the masses in their search. Unfortunately, most reputable breeders (if not all) are wiped out of puppies. Several I know have even sold younger dogs they were intending to keep in their breeding program simply because they felt so bad for the families searching. Breeders I talk to and work with are getting bombarded by tons of inquiries every day, getting labeled as unresponsive because they can't keep up and yet have nothing left to offer except a position on a waitlist.
High demand, low supply and desperation results in a several things:
As I've said many times on this page, I don't expect you to take my word on any topic - do your homework. If you don't think puppy scams are happening all around you here are a few links from one coast to the other:
Better Business Bureau Report on Covid Puppy Scams
North Carolina Department of Justice Puppy Scam Alert
Three Oaks Farm Christmas Puppy Scam in Charleston
Concord News Article on Current Puppy Scams
Please protect yourself. Please check your local shelters as dogs will be surrendered every day due to job loss and related issues. Please find one to two breeders you trust and get on their waiting list - before you know it you WILL have that perfect puppy!
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