AG Shapiro: Pennsylvanians Should Be Wary Of Puppy Scams As Sales Spike This Holiday Season

November 30, 2020 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG—Dogs can be our best friends, extra family members or long time companions. Their health is important to us from the first day they join our homes. The Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law which includes the Dog Purchaser Protection provision, ensures that consumers buying a dog in Pennsylvania know their new pet has a clean bill of health. During the holidays there are spikes in puppy buying and there are signs a buyer can look for to prevent unscrupulous sellers from scamming or selling sick puppies.

“Our pets provide incredible joy for families all across the Commonwealth – including my own,” said AG Shapiro. “People should know that if you decide to buy a puppy, they should have a clean bill of health, and sellers shouldn’t be hounding you for money to reserve your puppy with high pressure sales tactics or questionable wire transfers.”

Some scams to lookout for include:

  • Online ads offering very low buying prices for popular breeds – too good to be true ads.
  • Delivery of a puppy where the consumer is asked to pay for transportation costs via a wire transfer to a third party.
  • High pressure sales tactics from pet scammers asking for money be sent immediately to reserve the puppy.

Always consider adopting pets locally and visiting the puppy in person before purchasing.

This provision, also known as the Puppy Lemon Law, establishes basic standards that dog sellers, dog purchasers, veterinarians, and any other party subject to this provision must meet.

If you believe you may have bought a sick puppy, or have been scammed, in violation of the Puppy Lemon Law, you can fill out a complaint form, or send us an email at

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