Beware of Pet Scams
If buying a dog from a breeder, always visit in person to see how the animals are living and to ensure that it's not a puppy mill or irresponsible "backyard breeder." Puppy mills are inhumane factory-style operations that churn out puppies to be sold for a quick profit to pet stores and over the Internet. Puppy mill puppies are often sickly and may have a host of inherited health disorders due to their mothers spending their entire lives in cages being bred over and over. When dogs are constantly pregnant they can't pass on the proper nutrients to the next litter. Buying dogs from pet stores or over the Internet only serves to keep cruel puppy mills and other irresponsible breeders in business.
Don't buy pets from a distant buyer, seller or adopter. Often times, buyers aren't aware that their puppies were born overseas in a puppy mill, then sold to a U.S. broker. Tens of thousands of dogs are shipped into the United States from puppy mills in countries such as Russia and China.
Check references, which can include veterinarians and others who've purchased pets from this breeder. And make sure you deal directly with a breeder, not a broker.
Don't deal with anyone who promises a free puppy for just the cost of shipping. Scammers in these types of transactions often ask you to send more money because the nonexistent dog is "stuck at the airport" for various reasons such as customs complications or problems with the crate.
Don't fall for claims that the seller represents an animal shelter or is a "good Samaritan" offering the pets for "adoption." Reputable shelters do not place animals by sending out mass emails and then shipping them to people.
Never purchase a puppy with the promise of getting the AKC (American Kennel Club) papers from the seller at a later time. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for puppies to be ready for a new home, which is ample time for the breeder to receive the papers. It takes a couple of weeks through the mail and only a week if registration is done online. The AKC cannot help you get papers after the sale. In other words, if the seller tells you the dog is "register-able"-run the other way.
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