Thinking about buying or adopting a new pet? There are countless breeders, advertisers, and shippers to search from- however not all are legitimate. Unfortunately, scamming families and other animal lovers into sending money for the shipment of a new pet is an illegal business that happens too often and in most cases, results in no pet. The most common adoption scam is with puppies, however, cats, rabbits, reptiles and even birds are being used to attract hopeful people into a scam. If you are ready to adopt a new four-legged family member, make sure to ask questions and educate yourself on the person you are buying from.

ARK Pet Oasis has already received a few inquiries from families and individuals in search of a puppy purchased online that was supposed to arrive at JFK International Airport. Criminals will use the name and logos of existing pet shippers and claim there is an issue with the flight, airline, medical records, insurance or another excuse which will require additional money. Always do your research and make sure you are purchasing from a reputable source. If you are searching for a puppy, The ARK recommends using PuppySpot to find the right dog for yourself and your family.

PuppySpot is a trusted community of dog lovers that matches puppies with their forever homes. To further its commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of puppies being transported to their new families, PuppySpot reached out to us at the ARK Pet Oasis to get a first-hand look at our reception center that is dedicated to the welfare of in-transit companion animals. After visiting the ARK Pet Oasis, PuppySpot CEO Greg Liberman, a puppy owner himself, felt an immediate connection between the ARK Pet Oasis and his company due to their shared values and similar mission. Liberman writes – PuppySpot was created, in part, to ensure pet lovers avoid inhumane, unreliable or fraudulent sellers, and can gain the peace of mind that their new four-legged family member comes only from a responsible, caring source.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear stories of pet lovers who have fallen victim to puppy scams, but the good news is that there are responsible breeders out there who are true dog lovers and terrific sources for getting a new puppy. We have the pleasure of working with thousands of those hardworking and compassionate breeders who spend every day doing what they do out of a genuine love for the animals in their care. And, above and beyond breeding and raising puppies, their top priority is doing everything they can to ensure their puppies find happy homes.”

According to Liberman, there are several steps and questions you can ask to make sure you’re working exclusively with a responsible source. Here are just a few:

  • First, verify the quality of the breeder. PuppySpot helps its customers do that with an extensive screening process of the background, licensing and operations of the breeders with whom it works. Among other requirements, the company explicitly rejects first-time breeders as a means of discouraging schemes based on profits over the welfare of puppies.
  • Second, look for the full details on the puppy’s age, height and weight, as well as those details on both of its parents. Any legitimate source has and will share those key details.
  • Third, ask for additional videos or photos. Responsible breeders and their partners are transparent and, within their technological capabilities, will happily honor those types of requests.
  • Fourth, ensure that, before your puppy travels, you get a licensed veterinarian to confirm the puppy is healthy enough to travel. At PuppySpot, for example, a proprietary nose-to-tail examination with a licensed veterinarian is conducted before the company will clear any puppy for travel. Puppies are living, breathing beings and minor health issues can sometimes arise. But having that
    health verification in advance means you can minimize surprises when welcoming a puppy into your home.


The ARK recommends reading the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) website that includes how to spot a pet scam, what to do if you already paid the scammer, and how to report the scammer. IPATA includes an updated list of reported sites and emails of scammers. If you have fallen victim of a scam, or would like to report a possible scammer, visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).


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