You’ve seen them skateboard. You’ve seen them in your neighborhood. You’ve gotta have one. An English bulldog, of course! Although you have never had a dog before, you think this is the perfect one. So you do what a responsible owner would do and start researching.
One Pricey Pup
The first places you check out are the breeders in your area. You find a couple online and decide to give them a call. Yes, they have puppies for sale. Yes, they are available. Yes, they are $1000. One thousand dollars!? That is way too expensive for your budget. You try to haggle with them but they will not budge. They say they, along with the dogs, are registered members of the American Kennel Club and they have all the documentation for the vaccines and pedigree. You believe them, but you can’t afford the $1000.
You decide the next best place to look is in online classifieds. Maybe someone has an unwanted litter and you can get a deal. Post after post is read. Finally you find the perfect one, someone is advertising that they have a litter of English Bulldog puppies for sale. They are American Kennel Club registered, are vaccinated, and have great pedigree; they’re just like the local breeder! Best of all is the price. Because the seller didn’t want the litter and is moving, they need to get the puppy to you right away, so all you have to do is pay for shipping, about $300. What a deal.
Because the seller wants to move fast, you exchange information and are told the best way to pay them is by Western Union. They tell you not worry about the international address that you’re sending the money to because that’s where they are moving to and they’ll pick the money up when they arrive. No problem, the sooner you send the money the sooner your new pup will arrive. So you go to Western Union and wire the money. You get home and e-mail the seller and wait for an update on your dogs travel, but you hear nothing.
The Dog That Doesn’t Bark
It’s been a week and you’re getting worried. You haven’t heard anything from the seller and don’t know where your dog is. So you go back online and search for the name of the person you had been dealing with. You find Scambook.com and see that someone had an almost identical experience. Then it hits you, there never was a dog.
How the Scam Works
These scammers are on the prowl for dog lovers who just want to add to their families. They drool over people who want a specific type of puppy but don’t want to pay the breeder price. And they hound you to use Western Union because it’s nearly impossible for you to get your money back after you discover it was a fraud.
How Much is That Doggie in the Window?
$1,000 might seem like a lot of money, but when you put it in different terms, it seems reasonable. The breeder has to pay for all of the dog food, the vaccinations, other health costs, and the shelter; those costs add up, fast. If someone is offering a purebred dog for free, where you only pay the shipping costs, that should put up red flags immediately. There is no such thing as a free lunch. But if you want to be extra safe, check Scambook.com to see if anyone else has gone through a similar experience to what the seller is asking.
How to Buy a Dog Responsibly
The American Kennel Club has written an article for people who are thinking about buying a dog. They recommend that you make sure you have enough time for the dogs exercise and grooming, that you can afford the monthly food and health costs, and you realize it is a huge responsibility owning a dog.
Tips for Staying Safe
1. Stay local: it is extremely important for you to see the puppy in person. Not only will you be able to see its temperament but you can make sure it comes from a good place.
2. Visit the American Kennel Club: they have a list of registered breeders, if the person your dealing with is not registered that could be a flag. If the seller claims to be registered, double check the details on the website; make sure the contact information matches up.
3. Check Scambook.com: go online and see if anyone else has a similar experience. Chances are if the seller has free puppies and is moving quickly, they’re scammers and it has been posted on Scambook.com
Dogs are great addition to any family, but they take a lot of responsibility. They need to be cared for and can be expensive. Throw yourself a bone and check Scambook.com to make sure you don’t get the short end of the stick.
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