Animal lovers may know all the reasons to avoid buying puppies from pet stores, but when searching for a new puppy online, the risks might be less obvious. A puppy bought online could be sourced from a cruel puppy mill, suffer from health and behavioral problems, or could not exist at all. In fact, online scams involving pet sales appear to be on the rise.
According to the most-recently published Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker Risk Report, pets were the #1 subject of online purchase scams last year, making up more than one quarter of all “products” reported. Incredibly, experts believe at least 80% of sponsored advertisements about pets may be fake. Customers who lost money as a result of pet sale scams last year lost an average of $600.
How are so many people duped into handing money over to online scammers? It’s easy to design an authentic-looking website featuring cute puppy photos. And that’s the same reason that consumers who actually receive a dog through an online transaction can’t be sure it wasn’t from a puppy mill or is even the same pup they picked out.
Though there are undoubtedly some responsible breeders who use the Internet to market their dogs and communicate with potential buyers, it’s difficult to tell the difference when the web is riddled with misleading sites employing sophisticated marketing tactics. The best way to avoid supporting cruelty or being taken advantage of is not to buy a puppy online. For more tips on how to find a puppy the right way, visit Barred From Love.