Another reason not to order a dog online

By on October 25, 2017

Commercial breeding facilities (puppy mills) are concerned with one thing- your money. They don’t care for the health of animals they produce. They don’t care about ethics or morality. They see dogs and cats as livestock, not animals who deserve compassion and kindness.

And as businesses they try to get your attention through a variety of channels. Uninformed people look for puppies to buy in a couple of places (newspapers, on the web, in pet stores) and commercial breeders have animals or offers to buy animals in all of those places. Here, we’re educating on one outlet to avoid when looking for an animal- the internet. For the record, when you want a new pet, always start and finish your search in local shelters or through rescue groups.


Buying an animal online is a terrible idea. Not only are you supporting the commercial breeding industry, you are most likely buying the IDEA of a dog or cat whereas meeting animals in a shelter or at a meet-and-greet for a rescue puts yourself in front of a real-life animal who has real needs like love and care and you as its protector. Here’s something you might not be realizing, too.

The animal you are buying online may not exist.

Recently, The Gazette published this article that told a scary but true story. A reputable breeder in South Carolina discovered someone on the web using a photo of one of her pups, even offering the dog to buyers for half the price. The photo is taken at the breeder’s home and is the real advertisement. The other place on the web where her photo was being used, then, was a fake listing. Some hopeful pet buyer would likely see the fake post, contact the scammer, and begin to send money as he or she hoped in earnest to get the dog seen in the stolen photo.

The article also cited a recent report from a Better Business Bureau international investigations specialist who said, “This has just saturated the internet.” Here’s another “rising pet scam numbers” article for good measure.

Find out more about the “dark truth” of online pet sales from Bailing Out Benji, our Ames, IA, partner in education by clicking here.

Here’s what typically goes down in a scam like the one mentioned above and in the article:

-a person sees a dog for sale online and inquires

-the seller maintains that he or she has the dog in question and begins to give information, including pricing

-all the news is great and the buyer is ready. At this point, the seller collects some amount of money up front.

-as a drop-off or transport is scheduled, the seller mentions that it’s a good idea to have insurance on the dog that’s being taken to its new home. And wouldn’t you like the dog to be shipped in a climate controlled environment? And here’s another charge. And another.

-the buyer has, by now, sent hundreds if not thousands of dollars to the seller. And, lo and behold, there is no dog- just a photo on the web.


Surely this can’t happen in or to Omahans though, right?


Recently, local law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau held a press conference where information related to cases that were seen in Omaha was revealed. People in Omaha have been had, sometimes domestically and other times by international scammers.

For more on the local cases, see video here. 


So not only is it a bad idea to buy online because you are ultimately enabling the proliferation of puppies in mills, you might get gotten by a scam artist living in the dark and selling you a non-existent pup. Please don’t buy a dog. Adopt from your local shelter and work with local rescue groups to find the REAL dog you’ve been looking for.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply