Avoid falling victim to online puppy scams - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Avoid falling victim to online puppy scams

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

If you’ve ever thought about getting a puppy online, you should be careful and do your homework. That’s because puppy scams happen online.

KHQ brought you the story on Sunday of a Spokane Valley woman who was looking for a new bulldog puppy after her dog passed away. She wired the “seller” money, but in the end, never received the puppy or her money back.

If you’re looking for a purebred dog, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a puppy from a reputable breeder.

Jamie Wilke is an American Kennel Club breeder of merit. To get that, you have to fulfill a number of different guidelines. It also means they’re a reputable breeder. She’s also made it her mission to educate people so they don’t get swindled when looking for a new addition to the family.

“There's a lot of red flag areas that would scream to me. 'run'. Don't walk. Run,” she says. “At a minimum just make sure the puppies you're getting pass their health clearances.”

Make sure you visit in person, see the parent dogs, and talk to the breeder multiple times.

“Make sure the dogs are raised in the home. The dogs really do live there and they're loved by their family,” she says.

In Jamie's case, even before you get to that point, she requires you to fill out an application, do interviews, and then you usually get put on a waiting list. All in all, just do your homework because a reputable breeder will want to know as much about you as you do about them as they're passing off a beloved dog to you.

“It’s not a get rich thing for most people who really care about the breed,” she says.

Jamie says dogs from breeders usually cost between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the breed.

For more information about how the scam works, the BBB has put together a list: http://www.bbb.org/council/news-events/bbb-scam-alerts/2016/01/a-cute-cuddly-rip-off-its-a-puppy-scam/

For information on how to find reputable breeders, each breed of dog has their own breeder “parent club” that will list breeders in your state. To find them and a list of questions you should ask: http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/future-dog-owner/find-breeder/ and http://www.akc.org/press-center/facts-stats/responsible-breeders/

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