Finding the right pet can be an extremely stressful process, especially if it’s your first. It takes a lot of mental preparation. If you live in a city like me, it also takes a lot of research to find out which breeds are adaptive enough to live in your environment and will still suit your personality (and apartment) perfectly.
RELATED STORY: Choosing the Right Dog for My Family
I’m now the happy pet parent of Tusker, but it took a bit of searching to find him.
After doing some research, my girlfriend and I decided on getting a Mini Bull Terrier. If you’re not familiar with the breed, I highly recommend watching a couple of videos to see just how crazy and loving these dogs are.
Turns out though, this breed is also quite rare. Because of this, the price can be a little exorbitant and most pups are spoken for even before they’re conceived. In addition, many breeders require a contract which binds you to showing or breeding the dog professionally – a decision which I just wasn’t ready to jump into.
The Puppy Scammer
This was a predicament for us, and it’s how we almost fell victim to a puppy scam. Yes, there are puppy scammers out there!
When I came across a listing for an available Mini Bull pup that was the right age, the right color, and the right price, we became overly excited. It didn’t matter that we would have to fly all the way to Texas to pick him up (turns out the seller was, in fact, not in Texas…).
The first red flag was that the seller was not easy to get on the phone. It seemed like they were avoiding my calls, but I let that slide at first because we were too excited. When the seller would only respond to my emails in the wee hours of the morning, I became suspicious, but that didn’t bother me too much either because they were always accompanied by adorable puppy pictures. When we finally did speak over the phone, the seller never gave us direct answers. When we were asked to send a deposit to reserve the pup via moneygram, I was simply not comfortable. So after about a week of slow back-and-forth, when I finally suggested that proof of an airfare purchase should suffice in place of a deposit and asked to have a video call with the puppy, we just never heard from them again.
What I Learned About Avoiding a Scam
This whole process became very disheartening. The best immediate advice I can give is never send anything over moneygram – it’s totally shady. And always ask for recent photos of the person next to the puppy, or better yet, a video call. The right seller will be just as concerned about sending the puppy to the right home as you are about bringing home the right puppy.
The right puppy will also come at the right time if you’re patient. The whole scammer scenario was a big reality check for us, and we decided we could wait for the perfect puppy, however long it took.
RELATED STORY: What Are Puppy Mills?
Tusker at Home
Thankfully, we did find the little guy, and went to bring him home from Louisiana. He was sold to us by one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met.
Tusker was well worth the wait and he loves his new home just as much as we love him.
What Daniel Does at PetCareRx
Daniel Zmak is a Sales Executive with TopVets, part of the PetCareRx family. Having lived on four continents he now calls New York City home and lives in Greenwich Village with his new Mini Bull Terrier, Tusker, who is also excited for the many adventures to come.