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Scam Alert! Pet Rescue Cons

The Better Business Bureau warns scammers are targeting people who want to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue

You and your family are home a lot because of the pandemic and the kids have been begging for a pet. Now would be the perfect time to add a new furry member to your family. You think,"Hey! I want to adopt and not shop."  Everyone else has the same idea so local shelters are empty. So you go online to look at all the rescues on the internet. 

The Better Business Bureau wants you to do your research. The BBB says scammers are targeting people who want to adopt from a shelter or rescue. 

Scammers are impersonating real animal shelters or posing as people who want to re-home an animal.

The scammers may ask for a refundable deposit to "hold" the pet, money, or a prepaid debit card to ship the animal to your home. 

BBB says con artists offer to ship the pet but first you need to pay for emergency vet visits, additional shipping fees. They may even claim the animal will be euthanized if you don't pay up. 

While most of the scams have involved dogs, they can also include cats and other pets.

How to avoid pet adoption scams:

  • Don't buy any pet without seeing it in person
  • If you have a picture of the pet, you should look for that same picture elsewhere online. 
  • Only use money transfer apps with friends 

For more information on puppy scams, see the Better Business Bureau's  full report on puppy scams.