Avoid a puppy scam

How to prevent heartache and headache over a bad deal

So you found the perfect dog at a great price. What should you look for and do to prevent what started as an exciting addition to the family  to becoming a nightmare. Everything below is not an all inclusive list of warning signs of a scam.  These are meant to provide you something to look for when it comes to these sort of transactions. If the deal looks too good to be true or a little off, it most likely is.
  • Ask Questions - You can not ask too many questions and you should get fairly straight forward answers. You are the customer and it is your hard earned money. If the breeder thinks they do not need to treat you that way, is that a breeder you want to do business with? Are they willing to provide a photo with their phone and a particular item that only you would have expected like current paper if they get the paper or a blue cup. Something that would be hard to prestage and have a photo onhand with. If they do have an actual puppy most breeders are not afraid to provide photos or answer questions. Be cautious if they are unwilling to answer questions or unable to provide a particular photo or video.
  • Visit the breeder and dog in person before money is exchanged - If you are wanting to put that deposit down on a puppy, visit the breeder and dog before you place that deposit. A breeder with nothing to hide would have no issues with that visit. Photos and video is great but sometimes just seeing the dog in person is what is needed to say yes or no to a dog. Also if the breeder is only willing to meet you at a public place and not where the dog lives, that could be a red flag. When you have a few hundred dollars as a deposit you want to make sure the dog exists and the breeder is not going to disappear right after money is exchanged.
  • Do not wire money - If you can pay a deposit or balance in person do so. If not then use services like PayPal. Places like Western Union no NOT have protections for you. Once you send the money... count it done and gone. PayPal and simlar services have some protections where you can dispute. Both buyer and seller sees the transactions and there is a paper trail. If someone wants to complain about charges and costs using those services, well that is just the cost of doing business. Cashier checks and wire services are used heavily by scam artists because of the lack of protections and paperwork.
  • Check photos closely - When you do get photos, check them closely. Chances are you have looked at a few dogs of the same breed, did you already see that photo somewhere else. After completing an easy google search for the dog breed, does it show up on the first few pages of images? Sites like www.tineye.com and images.google.com can do a reverse image search to try to find it on other sites. If you find it somewhere else with other names or different sellers, BIG RED FLAG.
  • Get the breeders address - With the address you can do a search. Does the address exist? What does street view look like? Is there anything not quite right as you read about the person or address. If you see a church and not a home, you may have another red flag.
  • Is the price too good - On average the price of a pomsky pup is $1500 to $5000. The price varies by quality of the dog and the breeder. If an all blue eyed, perfect marking dog is only $1000 instead of $5000, it would be a red flag as it is too inexpensive. If someone is asking $7000 for that same dog, another red flag as to expensive. You should find that same dog between $3500 - $5000. Check the prices of other dogs as markets do adjust but this is a good rule of thumb.
  • What is the parents breed and can it be proven - Just seeing the parents can be confusing. If it is considered an F1 breed then the father was a pomeranian and the mother a siberian husky, not the other way around. Those are also artificially inseminated. An F2 would be the off spring of two F1 dogs breed together. This is normally done the natural way. F3 are from two F2 dogs. Anything past that is multi generational. Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Husky all look similar but have different genetics. A Pomsky is a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky. Good breeders will have DNA tests proving the dogs are of the two breeds and nothing more. There is no acceptance from AKC for this breed as they only register purebreed dogs and a Pomsky is a cross breed. CKC has decent documentation for these dogs and you can register with them. Dog Registry of America also recognizes the Pomsky breed. If you find seals for any other organization such as Pomsky Club of America or International Pomsky Assocaition, these organizations promote the breed but do not indicate any genetic information of the puppies for sale. Wisdom Panel appears to be the leader for the DNA tests.

Renee Chesmore
Le Roy, IL 61752


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