Is This a Puppy Scam?

puppySomeone Asked You to Pay Through Western Union for a Puppy—Now What?

We've discussed puppy scams and how to avoid falling for them many times on our blog, but since we've received phone calls about some new pet scam techniques in the past few days, we wanted to give our readers another heads up.

  • First of all, we highly discourage buying a pet from an unknown source, especially someone who is in a different state or country. If you can't go to their house, meet them, and see the pet for yourself, you're already taking a risk.

  • Read this. If any of these typical pet scam details sound familiar, walk away. Particular red flags include a very sad or dramatic story from the pet seller, a “free” pet that just requires paying “transportation costs,” and the request that you send payment via Western Union or MoneyGram.

  • Remember, just because someone has a picture of a pet, that doesn't mean it's real. Often pet scammers just find a photo online and pass it off as their own. Pet scammers do not actually have any pets in their possession, so anything they say about a puppy being stuck at the airport or being in danger is simply not true.

  • Same goes for “official” sounding pet company names. Google everything they send you to find out if they are real or not and pay close attention to the email address they use. If it's more sketchy than official, you should stop communicating with them.

  • Specific Example: We recently heard from someone taken in by a supposed breeder called “Bosco Bulldogs” who told their would-be client they were using PetRelocation to ship the pet. A little research reveals this is not a real breeder, and when they called us they found out that of course we knew nothing about the “order.” Note: PetRelocation deals with pet owners directly and will never ask that you wire money for our services.

In summary, just be smart. If something seems off, it's probably a scam. Never rush into anything and never send money to a questionable source online, and above all, remember that these problems can be avoided by adopting from your local animal shelter or rescue organization!

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any advice for your fellow pet lovers, and contact PetRelocation if you need assistance planning a pet move.


Photo credit: Jennifer/Flickr


PetRelocation Team




United States


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By LaToya on February 16, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I purchase a pet from It was an 11 week old schnauzer miniature. They told me that the puppy was $500 and they had free shipping due to they were a breeding company and had coupons to ship him for free. They told me that I could send the 400 over and they will ship the dog once he is in my possession with the right paperwork and everything then I will have to send over the remaining hundred. I sent over my confirmation number I got a email from a company called dream pet shipping.Com they confirm that everything was okay and then they sent me an e-mail 15 to 20 minutes later stating that the dog would be flying more than 4 hours and needed to be in a temperature crate and need to be vaccinated. But the only thing is that I would have to buy a new temperature crate and get him vaccinated for $745. They claim that that $745 would be reimbursed so I contacted the breeder told them that I was not going to do it and they said that I need to cooperate if I wanted my dog so I just basically told them that it was a scam I want my money back and I reported them and this has been over a month now and I still have no dog nor money

By Jack Hartz on February 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm

summerpuppyshop has taken $450 for a shitzus not shipped! They had a delivery service contact me for $950 for puppy insurance 98% refundable. Well I didn't bite. Surely EXCEL PT SHIPPING is never going to refund 98% shipping after the dog has been received. Their never going to ship anyway. Summer puppy shop is located in Philladelphia and the shipper is in Arkansa. Imagine that. Anybody got any Ideas on how to get my money back?

By Holly Blanchard on February 4, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Hello. Last night I was looking for puppies when I was I came across He told me he wasn't a breeder . He said he was adopting cause his wife passed. Asked personal questions and then preceded to tell me he will set up delivery. And he would be the one setting everything out. I googled his email and it came up that he is a straight out liar. He does this more often then he made me believe. Could you please look into this so someone doesn't get scammed.

By armando on February 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Hola, buenas tardes. Hace unos días contacte a una persona en mercado libre para la venta de un cachorro y comento que tenia que depositar 65 Euros dándome un numero de registro N° EU-324760/18-MX quiero saber si esto es verdad, el nombre de la persona es Micheal Gonzalez y que el deposito era en Western union a nombre de Bambot Gabila Ronald en el País de Camerún ¿Quiero saber si esto es verdad si no para reportarlo aquí mismo?

By Monkonjay on February 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm

My grandmother was scammed by a Kenneth Francis and Milton Gary in Ohio. We were sent videos and pictures. We spoke to them over the phone. They said they used an air county express for the shipment even sent us a receipt and they doggy never came. They won’t answer our calls and law enforcement can’t do anything even though we have the address where they picked up each transaction. Wasted $2K for nothing. They made a Facebook page and have an account on My grandmother is devastated. Makes me wish she had let me know before she did all this I’m more suspicious than her:

By Jozsef on January 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Can I do something?? I send money too for them??

By joan hollar on June 13, 2018 at 11:54 am

I have just experienced the exact scam. after sending them $2100.00 I still don't have a dog but many threats about 12 yrs in prison for "pet abandonement" the company called themselves EZPRESS FLY PET RELOCATOR AND THE BREEDER IS JENKINS TRAVIS [AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS] ON THE WEBSIT BREEDERHENRYAUSSIE OUT OF ATLANTA GA. 30314 please heed this scam is real. joan hollar

By Irina Smith on January 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm

We found "harveysfamilybassethound"website. They wanted us to pay by Western Union. There were a lots of mistakes in their writing and miscommunication. They sad that their were located in Michigan and were ready to send us puppy withing two or four days after the payment. Fortunately, next morning, instead of sending them money, we emailed them and told them that we did not want to pay them by "money gram". They did not contact us since ever. That was a SCAM!

By Amelia Clarissa Burrell on December 23, 2017 at 6:27 am

I found someone giving a Pug away from free but all I had to pay was 210$ for shipping expenses. It was from Maryland to California. I'm worried it could be a scam because of what the things on here said. He said his wife was sick and in the hospital so he couldn't care for the puppies and I had to send money through western union. I Googled the company that called me and it seemed legit. The man was even willing to pay half to get the puppy to me. Is it a scam??

By on December 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

Hello Amelia,

This situation definitely sounds like a scam - someone requesting Western Union and offering to ship an expensive puppy breed to you for only $210 USD is extremely suspicious. Keep in mind that scammers will use reputable companies' names to add credibility to their story.

We recommend cutting off communication with this person and not paying them. Try finding a puppy locally or going through a rescue in your area to avoid getting caught up in a scam. Best of luck to you!

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