Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beware of Puppy Internet Scams!

Many consumers trying to find a Shih Poo puppy from a reputable breeder often turn to the internet. Here they find many websites advertising their pups with phrases such as “certified kennel,” “pedigree,” “family raised,” and “health guaranteed”. Don’t be fooled! The internet is an unregulated market-place. Beware of “internet puppy scams” showing cute, adorable Shih Poo pups with phony promises.

There have been hundreds of consumer complaints filed each year from people who were “scammed” while buying a puppy online. Here are 2 common internet scam scenarios: 

Bait and Switch

A website shows photos of cute, healthy puppies. The buyer falls in love with one. All contact is done by phone and email. The pup is purchased and shipped without seeing the pup in person. When the puppy is delivered, the buyer finds a sickly pup, even a differently colored pup than promised. The puppy was obviously switched!

Free to Good Home

A website uses verbal cons saying, “Shih Poo Puppy, free to good home, due to a death in our family.” The buyer is told, “This Shih Poo Puppy is free of charge, except for the shipping fee of $400-$500. Please send payment by Western Union or a money order.”  The buyer goes to the airport to pick up the new pup and there is no puppy involved. They get the cash and the buyer has no puppy!

How to avoid being “scammed” when buying a Shih Poo Puppy:

·        Never buy a Shih Poo puppy you have not seen in person.
·        Be sure to talk directly with the Shih Poo breeder.
·        Always visit the breeder and the Shih Poo puppies in person.
·        Check references of the Shih Poo breeder.
·        Call the Vet the breeder works with.
·        Is the breeder’s kennel certified with the state?
·        Is the puppy registered with a reputable pet registry? Such as:
o   America’s Pet Registry Inc. or American Kennel Club
·        Never send full payment for the puppy by Western Union or a money order.
·        If the price of the Shih Poo puppy is cheap and seems “to good to be true,” you are dealing with a puppy mill or a backyard breeder.
·        Be sure to do your research of the breeder.

Beware of those who advertise Shih Poo Puppies at a really low price, such as $200 - $300. Healthy, well-adjusted, socialized and Vet checked Shih Poo pups always cost more because so much time and quality care went into these pups to ensure a good-quality, healthy Shih Poo puppy.

           Remember, cheap price = poor quality Shih Poo Puppy!

The internet is a valuable tool to help you find a reputable Shih Poo breeder but please beware of these and other scams.

To report a “puppy scam” please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Sherry’s Shih Poos

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