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


Add a Comment

By Mani Kumar on July 11, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Am an indian citizen and I want to import 2 kittens from Ukraine. But here the pet relocating agencies are saying that you must have stayed there for more than two years if not mean you cat take kittens from there.

By Bobby on July 8, 2018 at 9:22 pm

I got scammed I think - through - A daschund puppie called Max. Went through the emailing back and forth then they asked me to pay the shipping company - Pet Relocation, New Zealand And wire the money to them in the States, through Western Union. I researched this a lot and checked all the scam reports. I emailed them and said I wasn't wiring any money anywhere till I have seen the goods. Our agreement is terminated. I am getting some calls +1 (400)000 0000. Which I searched and its a scam too. This is to just let you know.

By on June 25, 2018 at 5:31 pm

** GREAT DANE PUPPIES FOR ADOPTION ** *** Thanks for the interest with regards to my puppies. If you've been worried about the high cost of Great Dane puppies I've got some good news for you. We have 2 puppies; a male Sugar (Black and White Markings) and a female; Misty (White with black markings) of same litter and have been vet checked, dewormed, with registration papers, vet certification. They're also current with shots, half way house broken and potty trained (both inside and outside). DAD'S WEIGHT 129 LBS, MOM'S WEIGHT: 145 LBS. To make you know a little about myself, I am called Regina Robinson, married to a very caring husband and we have 2 sons. I am a Police patrolman by profession (BADGE #83) currently on duty here in Baltimore Southeast District from Mariana Police dept. My husband who always assisted me with the puppies is suffering from Alzheimer with lost of memory and does not even remember that we have lovely babies to look after. I bought the dogs for $350 each but I'm asking $300 each which includes some food, leash, collar, carrier and some toys . The dogs had gotten shots previously from pet-co and they gave us a name for the dogs and shot records. Our current address is 19625 Selby Ave Poolesville, MD 20837 and this is where the puppies will be coming from (I will make delivery arrangements and take care of it from the adoption fee so that the puppy comes at no extra cost) Due to my husband's present health condition and I've have tried to adjust my work schedule to suit the situation but its still impossible for us to give the pups the attention they deserve. We think these puppies could be better taken care of by other families who can give them the love and attention that they deserve.PLEASE DISCUSS WITH YOUR FAMILY, SPOUSE OR PARENTS BEFORE RESPONDING TO OUR QUESTIONS . DON'T RESPOND UNLESS YOU'RE READY TO ADOPT THE SAME DAY. -Where precisely are you located? -Do you have any pet experience? -Which of the puppies are you looking at? -My address is in the details above will you be able to come over or you will prefer delivery?All i need is just a very caring and loving home for our babies where they will be well loved and spoiled to rotten. Thanks and will be happy to read from you again .. Attached to this email are pics of the available pups.leitiminee@gmail.comThis was sent to me after I responded to a Craigslist ad this morning..Sacramento California Her address said downtown Sacramento.

By Kira on June 3, 2018 at 1:23 am

Hi.. i just think i encounter one of scammer last night,I wanted to adopt a pet,since i dont have one,i search for adoption pages..then i emailed the owner which has a very sad story that she told me..we had a convo tru email and im in shocked,were just talking and she said she alteady ship the puppy and she said i will just pay the shipment fee.. i'm confused,because now she's threatening me ,if i didn't pay the shipping fee,i have to go to jail,to acused that i abandon the puppy that she sent already..what should i do? Is there anyone whose familiar to a "Alpha continental transport?" Please i need a reply

By Carol Kearney on May 30, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Does anyone know about Little toy poodles. It also said, Smart teacup Poodle. The pictures looked like a stuffed dog. I ask for a picture of her running around. Didn’t receive it until today. I told her I had already been scammed by a man named Gideon Mock of Charityhomepoms. Now the picture is a video from a “Tammy Fisher.” I’ve checked the scam list and can’t find anything about them. I live in Lake Worth, Florida. The puppy is from California. Has anyone ever been scammed by these people ?

By Edmund` on June 25, 2018 at 4:11 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 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 .

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