Guardians of Rescue Investigates Online Pet Sales

Pets & Animal, Community, Charity & Cause

The national organization is aiming to prevent animals from being sold through the internet.

Guardians of Rescue, a nationwide organization that works to protect the wellbeing of pets, is conducting an investigation into online pet sales. The group is working with law enforcement agencies across several states to protect pets from the abuse that they endure from being bought and sold on the Internet.

“Getting a new pet is always a big decision, and buying a dog you haven’t met in person is not smart,” Dori Scofield, vice-president of the group, said. Scofield added that purchasing dogs online can potentially support puppy mills and people that breed dogs for fighting.

People that purchase dogs for the purpose of fighting use certain understood language to let buyers know it is a fighting dog, without actually coming out and saying it. The sellers will also scam the buyers by adding “rehoming fees” to inflate the price.

One of the investigators from the organization recently purchased a pit bull from Craigslist. When asked if the dog would get along with other dogs, alluding to whether or not it was a fighting dog, the seller stated that the dog could hold its own. They then sold the dog, adding the extra rehoming fee. The dog is now safe in the care of the organization.

For those looking to buy a pet online, it is important to verify the person that the owner is legitimate. Be sure to look up their address and phone number, and request health records. However, the group still does not recommend buying a pet online. There are many shelter pets in need of a home, so be sure to look into adopting one before making a decision.

Guardians of Rescue provided the following five tips for people looking to adopt or purchase a new pet:


  • Overrun Shelters. Certified shelters have millions of animals in need of a good home. Most shelter animals already have their shots and vaccines. These animals come from a reliable source and need a good home too.
  • Sick Puppies. Sadly, many dogs sold online are the product of puppy mills. This means that they are raised in most likely malnourished with no previous veterinary care with a high chance of developing serious health problems later in life.
  • Ridiculous Fees. When purchasing dogs via the Internet, the seller oftentimes inflates the purchase price, adding scam charges such as ‘rehoming fees.’ Shelter fees are almost always significantly less than the purchase price on sites such as Craigslist while providing important information, such as lineage and health forms.
  • No Oversight. The exchange of animals through the Internet lacks any form of monitoring or limitations. This allows the sellers to determine their own rules without fear of the law.
  • Greed. The main motivation of sellers putting dogs up for adoption on the Internet is the prospect of gaining money. The health and safety of the dogs is not their top priority, harming both the animal and the potential buyer. The cost can skyrocket with additional fees and no oversight, creating a hazardous environment for all involved.

[Source: Guardians of Rescue]

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