Fraud Alerts/PSAs

December 22, 2020: Scammers Try to Pass Off Puppies as Purebreds


People in the market for a recognized dog breed should be careful they don’t get a mutt in purebred clothing.

In the Purebred Puppy Scam, victims may find themselves spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on supposedly purebred pooches that aren’t what the sellers claim.

Last year, a new state law went into effect requiring pet shops to sell only dogs, cats and rabbits from animal shelters or rescue organizations making it more difficult for scammers to pull a fast one.


  • To determine if a dog is a recognized purebred, request the registration documents from a dog registry organization such as the American Kennel Club, Canine Kennel Club or the Continental Kennel Club.
  • For a non-recognized breed, such as a designer breed, get a second opinion from an expert.
  • Meet the seller and dog in person wherever the animal is being housed and ask for medical records before signing a contract or paying.

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