Looking for a Rescue Dog? Here’s How to Avoid Scams

Looking for a Rescue Dog? Here’s How to Avoid Scams

Scammers appear to have infiltrated virtually each space of contemporary life, and sadly, some are even posing as canine rescues. Here are seven methods to keep away from being scammed when adopting a rescue canine.

Scams are commonplace these days. From bizarre textual content messages to phony calls for for account data, we’ve discovered to only press “delete”. But when scammers pose as canine rescues, it’s simple to fall into their entice, particularly in the event that they’ve posted an lovely canine picture accompanied by a heartbreaking story. It’s a ploy to tug at your heartstrings — and your pocketbook — so it’s vital to have the ability to inform what’s faux and what’s not. Here are seven tricks to keep away from falling for a rescue rip-off.


If you’re seeking to adopt a rescue dog, get a referral out of your veterinarian, groomer, a good friend or co-worker. Many veterinarians are actively concerned in animal rescue, or know people who find themselves, and may refer you to an trustworthy group.

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“In the 20 years I’ve been in rescue, I’ve seen the variety of scammers enhance tenfold,” says Cathy Crocket of PAWS of Dale Hollow Rescue in Tennessee. “Adopters should apply due diligence in the case of adopting a canine (or cat). It’s simple to fall right into a entice as a result of these folks know simply how one can pull at your heartstrings.”


Guidestar.org is an informational database of non-profits within the US. Although it studies on many forms of organizations, it may be a useful data service for potential adopters, providing contact data, monetary studies, and even buyer opinions.

“They publish the great, the dangerous, and the ugly,” says Cathy, “in order that they’re a superb place to start out your search.”

Those in Canada can discover comparable details about non-profits by means of the Canada Revenue Agency’s charity information page.


Many reliable rescues use Facebook to succeed in a wider viewers. It’s a fantastic platform for posting fundraising occasions, sharing success tales, and interacting with former and potential adopters. Unfortunately, it’s additionally a fantastic platform for scammers. With a bit of apply, nevertheless, you possibly can spot the faux Facebook account:

  • The web page will look static, as if nothing a lot is occurring.
  • If you scroll down, the web page may finish abruptly, indicating that it’s pretty latest.
  • It could have inconsistent content material, or only a few feedback on posts.
  • Profile images are sometimes copied and pasted from different websites.
  • The About part could checklist a URL that doesn’t work if you paste it in your browser. Or you might even see misspellings, together with inconsistent or restricted data on the About web page.


If the rescue presents solely purebred puppies or designer canine, it might be a pet mill posing as a rescue. There’s a reputation for this — it’s known as “pet laundering.” In March 2019, Iowa’s Attorney General introduced a case in opposition to a number of pet mill sellers who had been promoting their puppies as rescues. They made 250 shipments of puppies and tons of of 1000’s of {dollars} earlier than they had been shut down. Many rescues are breed particular, in fact, however they received’t have a vast provide of purebred pups.


Scammers place time pressures on adopters, particularly in the case of cash. Conversely, legit rescues typically ask for a small charge to course of your software, however received’t strain you to ship cash, nor will they threaten to “give” the canine to another person since you’re not following their calls for.

“A legit rescue could have a constant and really particular adoption course of,” says Cathy. “They’ll ask for and verify your references. Many additionally do background checks. We suggest you alert your references to allow them to know they’ll be getting a name — if nobody contacts them, that may be a pink flag.”


Scammers are masters at persuading you to let your guard down, typically by performing heat and pleasant. Never share monetary data with anybody on-line, and pay solely by means of trusted websites like PayPal, or with a bank card that can defend you from fraud.

Stay away from financial institution transfers. This is a typical and straightforward approach for scammers to take your cash, and will probably be tough, if not unimaginable, to retrieve it.


Most rescue scams go unreported as a result of victims really feel embarrassed. Scammers depend on this, however reporting them can defend others and assist preserve rescue funds the place they belong — with trustworthy rescues.

You can report fraud to the Better Business Bureau, your state’s Consumer Protection Agency, or the National Consumers League. In Canada, scams may be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Adopting a canine from a rescue is among the most fulfilling issues you are able to do. And there are many fantastic and respected rescue organizations on the market who will help you discover your new greatest good friend. Learning how one can acknowledge and avoid the scammers will guarantee your canine adoption expertise is what it must be — thrilling and rewarding!

Karen Elizabeth Baril is a visitor pet blogger, writer, and journal author. Her work has appeared in quite a few equine and animal market publications. She lives on her farm within the northwestern hills of Connecticut along with her three horses, two canine, and no matter animals could trundle by means of throughout the night time. Visit her at karenelizabethbaril.com.

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