Are Puppies for Sale Near Me Ads Legit?

March 30, 2023 • Devin Partida


Those puppies for sale near me advertisements are seemingly everywhere. For families or individuals who want a dog, these ads seem like a lifesaver. However, the person behind the listing doesn’t always have good intentions. Before choosing to buy a puppy, make sure the person you plan to buy from is legit.

Why These Ads Can Be Scams

Nobody wants to believe that anyone would scam people by selling fake puppies. It’s not uncommon for these scams to be around, sadly. Many scammers prey on the loneliness that people feel, which can drive them to want a companion animal. Some people or families have paid upwards of $1,000 for a dog that never arrived.

Sometimes, a dog does exist, but it isn’t as healthy as you think it might be. Some puppies come from “puppy mills” and are bred repeatedly to churn out a product: the puppy. Puppy mills don’t always have dogs living in squalor. Occasionally, the facilities are deceitful and clean. However, the psychological damage it inflicts on the dogs who live there still exists.

Something else that can tip you off if you’re being scammed is that they take a deposit via Venmo or similar means. Some reputable breeders take deposits on these platforms, but if your gut is telling you that something feels off, ask for more proof before following through with the payment. Many sellers go dark after receiving the “deposit,” proving that they never had a puppy to sell in the first place.

Where Puppies for Sale Near Me Ads Are Found

You’ll find many of these puppies for sale near me advertisements on social media or on listing sites like Craigslist. While reputable breeders list their puppies for sale on similar websites, they often post pictures and information on personal social media accounts or their websites. Always look up a breeder’s website before agreeing to pay anything. Does the website look professional, or does it seem like it was built hastily in a day?

Some of these scammers may aim to steal your information. Remember to update your strong passwords regularly, especially on accounts that scammers may see as desirable, like influential social media or banking accounts. If you believe a scammer has deceived you, report the charges to your bank to see if you can get any of your money back. Hopefully, you’ll have the opportunity to vet a breeder before purchasing from them.

How to Ensure You Get the Puppy of Your Dreams

Even if you pay no attention to the puppies for sale near me ads, you can still acquire the puppy of your dreams. Learning how to tell fake listings from real ones can be difficult, but you can implement a few measures to ensure that the puppy you’re getting is legitimate. Aim to search high and low for the dog you want, and you’ll receive it.

1. Be Internet-Savvy

If you buy a dog from a listing or breeder you’ve never met before, ask for pictures of the puppy. If you can, go and see the dog in person. That way, you’ll see the dog’s living conditions and verify that the puppy you want actually exists. If sellers are apprehensive about you visiting or refuse to meet you, you’ll know that it likely isn’t an accurate listing.

Be careful when giving out your information. If the seller isn’t really a breeder, you don’t know where that information will go once they’ve finished scamming you. In short, you need to brush up on how to navigate the internet. Decipher whether some listings are real or fake, and always think twice before giving out sensitive information.

2. Buy from a Reputable Breeder

Instead of looking for breeders on selling sites or social media platforms, start searching for breeders in your area. You should find a few websites that seem promising, but don’t stop there. See if you can find the breeder’s presence elsewhere online, like on social media. Make sure everything lines up, and you’ll have found a reputable breeder to buy from.

While the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not endorse specific breeders, it can fetch a list of reputable breeders that have gone through the AKC Parent Club. These Clubs can point you in the direction of a breeder in your area who will have real dogs and puppies. The only downside is that breeders may not have puppies available right away for you, but being put on a waiting list is much better than buying something that doesn’t genuinely exist.

3. Adopt from a Shelter

Take your search offline and go straight to your local animal shelter. Shelters usually have puppies available, but they’re in high demand, so you may have to put yourself on a waiting list or visit the shelter before other people adopt the same puppy. If a puppy you like gets adopted, you still have plenty of chances to adopt an older dog that will make a worthwhile companion, too.

Avoid Puppies for Sale Near Me, Opt for Security

Scams are downright terrifying. You never know when your money or personal information can be stolen, so it’s best to guard yourself whenever you go online. Puppies for sale near me ads might be tempting, especially if you’ve wanted a dog for a while, but they often aren’t worth it. The time you invest into researching a proper breeder with proof they have puppies will pay off in the end when you get to hold your new best friend.