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 Eddie on March 28, 2017 at 10:38 am

We were scammed by what started out as maria poodles and somehow switched over to Sammy's poodles. I believe they have other Web sites using other names but there description of the place and transportation all read the same.

By Simon Lawson on April 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Hi Eddie, I googled a website and i found it here Theres a button on the website that lets you send a fraud warning to shut down the scammers website

By Lauren on February 3, 2018 at 12:56 am

Hello, My grandma just died and I fell for a puppy scan because I was desperate to make my mom happy. What did you do as far as getting your money back? Thank you! Lauren

By prashant on May 14, 2017 at 4:34 am

mumbia to rajkot

By on May 15, 2017 at 8:47 am

Hello Prashant, if you're looking for assistance in moving a pet from Mumbia to Rajkot, we recommend reaching out to a local agent in India via to assist. Hope this helps!

By Mary lou on May 29, 2017 at 10:07 pm

I was buying a puppy yorkie for my mother from a Mr Garrett in Dallas Texas for $200 and they had a coupon to fly him to me via a professional pet transportation Co. Called Pawsfreight. Pawsfreight contacted me saying they needed $510 to rent a special crate for the 2.2lb 12 week old puppy in and I would receive 98% of my money by cash back once I received my puppy and the crate was returned. After sending them the $510 by Western Union I received a tracking number that for over 5 hours stated next stop BLUE Grass Kentucky airport. It doesn't take 5 Hrs from Dallas to Kentucky. I started thinking SCAM. I tried to contact Pawsfreight and Mr Garrett no response. So please don't let this happen to you. I am now out of $710.00 . I contacted the Federal cyber authorities and reported this. Hopefully they will be able to shut them down.

By on May 30, 2017 at 9:26 am

So sorry that happened to you, Mary lou! Thank you for sharing your story and good luck in the future.

By Monkonjay on February 2, 2018 at 12:49 pm

OMFG this was our same thing to. We got a tracking number that stayed the same for hours. They also said we had to sen $500 for a crate or something. So sorry

By Karla Allies on June 5, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Use Google image search or similar ap. Do a search on the photo the seller has sent you. That will tell you lots. Then if looks legit, contact the pet transport firm direct. If the dog is for real they'll have a file. Sad that so many people try to scam us dog lovers!

By on June 5, 2017 at 4:36 pm

That's a great tip! Yes, most scammers have just taken a cute puppy photo from another website, copied and pasted it, and are just trying to pass it off as their own. Thanks for sharing, Karla!

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