The recent the increase of pet adoptions and purchases has also brought the scams.
According to Bay Village Police Department Detective Ed Chapman, he and his fellow staff members are currently investigating puppy scams. This is when an individual goes online believing they are dealing with a reputable breeder, give a significant deposit or credit card for a purebred puppy and the online poster and puppy disappear. This activity also occurs on publications like Craigslist. The Better Business Bureau also has been documenting and monitoring this activity too.
Detective Chapman equates this type of criminal activity as similar to the “grandma scams” that we hear about where seniors are being preyed on. Law enforcement receives regional reports which reflect that pet scams and theft are increasing.
When searching for a new four-legged family member, please reach out to local veterinarians for referrals of reputable breeders or rescue groups. The American Kennel Club, akc.org, displays a wealth of information on breeds, breeders and rescue contacts in addition to training tips.
Detective Chapman also suggests to use common practices. Get referrals by speaking to people about the breed you are thinking about. Sharing with others will help you with the process. Local county kennels and animal protective leagues post and share suggestions and have beautiful pets for adoption too. Remember, a pet is a commitment.
Pet thefts from vehicles, yards, some vacation destinations and scammers on lost and found websites are increasing too. Tragically, what might happen in some of these incidents are pets being used for backyard breeders, dog fighting rings – as fighters or as bait, or being sold to pharmaceutical companies to utilize for testing. Your pet could even be held just for the reward money. Or simply to become someone else’s pet.
Having your pets spayed, neutered and microchipped along with licensing and other identification which might include tattooing by a veterinarian are some ways to ensure the prompt return of your pet if lost. Safe containment, emergency planning and positive reinforcement training for this family member is a must. If you lose or find an animal please contact your local law enforcement. There are safe social media sites to post on like Sam the Parrot, Pawboost, Pet FBI and Nextdoor. For more challenging lost pets, reputable recovery services are available too.
Owner, Hot Diggity Dog, Inc.
Blog writer for Ohio Pet Expert
Advocate for lost, stolen and injured pets