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 Rebecca on May 23, 2018 at 7:20 am

Stephanie Paulin selling yorkie puppies: SCAM.

By Diaga on June 10, 2018 at 1:17 am

i just emailed her asking about the puppies. something told me to google her because it sounded like a scam. thanks you saved me money!

By Celeste Christmas on April 29, 2018 at 1:34 pm

This seems to be the going scam..... I got taken for $1100 for a kitten that i now believe never existed.. Wife died and the Cattery was going out of business so he has to liquidate everything. Kept coming up with why I had to send more money I finally realized we were out $1100 and no kitty.. People that scam suck!!!!

By Edmund` on June 25, 2018 at 4:17 am

The person contacting you is a scammer .I'm Edmund from El Paso New Mexico, i work whit the Interpol .Please you should be very careful.Once you get this massages on your Phone ,contact the police immediately and if you have given your credential information to them,change your password immediately for your safety.And to be on a safe side when trying to buy a pet, do contact the police or the Interpol for security reason.

By Deborah Higgins on July 13, 2018 at 12:10 am

There is no such place as El Paso, New Mexico and Interpol might be astonished you called them about a puppy. This Edward guy must be the scammer.

By John F Hilton on April 25, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Also Stay away from Euro Puppy . 1, The don't honor there liftime garantee on Congenital defects , even with over whelming medical documentation . 2. I did a extensive back ground check and found they are no more than a glorified Puppy Mill located in Hungry .

By kim head on April 13, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I'm in contact with someone named Stephen Porter from Madison Heights, VA. about a Maltese puppy. Can anyone help me identify if this is a scam. They are going to transport the puppy and they want me to Western Union $300. Here is all the info I have so far and communications. I also googled the name, nobody by that name and location came up. I googled the pictures they sent and no exact results came up. But when I asked for Vet name and number she said her husband was a Vet and does all the checkups for their pets.Stephen Porter 229 Stratford Pl Madison Heights, VA 24572 email: phone: 571-266-0764 843-989-0110 If this is a scam, it must be a pretty good one because I can't find anything on them.Hello. Sorry for the late reply . Thanks for contacting in regards of our puppies, we still have them available both males and females . we are giving each for $300 with transportation and delivery included if needed to be transported and we are really looking for a pets loving home for them to love and care for them . where exactly are you located ?Do you have experience with dogs ? Are you sure you can well look after this beautiful creature? 1: Do you have children? 2: Do you have a big yard that they can play around? 3: Have you got a vet? 4: Are you interested in the male or female?The Puppies come with: A vet check documents Have been treated for worms, and checked over by a vet. Microchip All paper works valid A few trays of food to get you started.So i await to read from you . Thanks

By Mark Jorden on July 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

hello , hope you never fell for that bastard who tried scamming you off your money ,these guys just got me send them $2500 for a french bull puppy saying they were going to ship the puppy and till now i haven't receive any puppy and my money is gone for good . Is there any way in which i can get back my money ???

By Jack Hilton on April 25, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Sounds a little sketchy to me. Ask why won't accept a banktransfer ! If they are running a legitimate business the should have a business Account. Be Carefull.

By Khawar iqbal on April 6, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Yeah same thing happened to me there is one guy from south Africa he asking me to send money by western union around 1700AED and he will deliver the puppy to me in pakistan and hes keep asking me money.

By Tonia Allen on March 13, 2018 at 8:09 pm

All of these questions and information is what I am going through. It seems real and then it doesn't. I was even sent a certificate of ownership and signed and scanned back to them. Stephanie Paulin has beautiful teacup yorkie puppies male and female. Her story was her daughter died in a car wreck on the way home from school. The two puppies are just too painful to look at. The Royal Kingdom of Morocco from Casablanca. The certificate looks real. Then Mohamed Hassan is the one that done the ticket for flight. He then says that I have to pay $700 for a crate because it is to cold. I told them I wasn't paying and they said I could get 8 years in jail and pay $18000 and charged with abandonment. It seems real and then seeing this makes it fake. I'm confused. They are even calling me and texting me.

By kace on May 2, 2018 at 11:55 pm

I have family member this happened to, what was the outcome of your story

By Jack Hilton on April 25, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Walk away this stinks like a scam !!!!!!

By Diaga on June 10, 2018 at 1:27 am

I literally just talked to her. i told her i wont be buying any dogs from her because her named showed up on this scam website. she even used that exact story

By Jai on March 5, 2018 at 10:38 pm

I found the most perfect yorkie online from the pic and description. I asked for extra pics and video. I got the pics and was told Sadie was 13 weeks. I asked no less than 10 questions and only got the age that didn't match the pics...I called the texted phone number no answer. I called AKC they couldn't find anything. Called 4 vets in the texas city one was familiar with elegantyorkiehome or yorkies home to you breeder. They said in the website everything you'd want..but they never got personal. They did repeat a lot that the shipping was free for this week, and the cost would be $410.00..& delivered the next breaks my heart that after an attempt to vett them I could only think SCAM ...if it sounds to good to be true then it always is..that pic of Sadie was heart breaks...Ps. They wanted the money sent by Wal-Mart money gram so they could get it in last red flag..

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

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