SA Post Office

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Puppy scammers in South Africa are still on the rise

We survived a pandemic and a global shutdown but can you believe that South African families are still struggling with Puppy Scammers ?

SA Post Office

Image: Supplied

The sad reality is unfortunately many South African families are still suffering at the hands of these scammers. Pet scammers in South Africa more specifically puppy scammers are still very much on the rise with innocent families around South Africa falling prey to their horrible schemes. PETport has been reporting on puppy scams for the last 5 years, trying to assist families in picking up the obvious blueprint these scammers use.  In the last 2 years, we have seen an incredible increase in families being scammed due to the COVID pandemic and families working conditions changing. This has resulted in families finding that they are able to make room for four-legged family members. This is when these scammers adapted their schemes to be on websites and WhatsApp at the fingertips of each family.

How families get scammed by Puppy Scammers

To the unseeing eye, it all appears incredibly legit, with talks of health documents, a care plan, development plans for all their puppies, reviews from happy clients, gorgeous and cute puppies looking cared for, referrals from a Dr. within the organization that oversees the process and a standard price for shipping with a trusted Pet Shipper. You may stumble across this website with a .com, they have many different breeds in order to make sure they appeal to as many different family’s needs. The minute you see a website that has multiple breeds whether it is a scam or not, please note that purchasing from them is inadvertently stating that you are 100% comfortable purchasing from puppy farms or puppy mills. 

Let’s look at what we find if we google “puppies for sale cape town”. Immediately the first available website is pure breed puppies for sale, with a .com but nationwide in South Africa. They have 25 different breeds of puppies available right NOW! Pitbull puppies have 8, 9-week-old puppies available for purchase, For Australian Cattle puppies, they have 7-9 week old puppies available for adoption, if we average 7 per litter for 25 breeds that is 175 puppies and 50 parents! That is a total of 225 dogs on a property “somewhere” in “South Africa” right now. 

Once puppy scammers have lured you in with their vast availability on a wide range of puppies their process is ridiculously easy, so easy you might even forget to ask for a video call to see a puppy, or even tell a little white lie and say you have family in the area that will pick up the Fur baby. If they refuse that is your first alarm bell! If you are spending thousands on your next family member, you have every right to want to see this Fur baby on a video call or face to face first.

When they have stolen your hard-earned money, unfortunately for many families without their knowledge, they will continue the charade until they confirm delivery to the “pet courier”. At the last minute, they will inform you of new regulation changes that require all puppies travelling to do so in a temperature-controlled crate which you are able to hire from them for R10 000 or R14 000. This is false information; Fur babies all travel in IATA compliant wooden crates both domestically and internationally.

These scammers might even claim to work with a reputable Pet Shipper like PETport. This is also false information and should be an immediate alarm bell. Always complete your own travel preparations, this is how you will be able to judge if the breeder is legit or not based on paperwork required from your registered Pet Relocation Specialist. When in doubt, pop PETport a message on WhatsApp – 063 971 6547 and they will gladly verify if the individual is legit or a scammer before making any payment.

What do you need to look out for?

Please note the following is based on our personal experience;

  • International .com websites.
  • Multiple Breeds available at the same time.
  • Links to Facebook and Instagram that do not reroute you to the page.
  • Communication predominately over WhatsApp messenger, no calls.
  • Ask for a copy of the vet books, all puppies require registered vet books to travel safely, they also require a 5-1 vaccination to be completed and a copy of Moms vet book. If they mention a health report this is incorrect! If they are not able to provide you the above before you purchase, this should be an alarm bell. 
  • You will never have standard pricing for pet shipping, when working with the cargo section of a plane every inch is calculated, if they mention shipping is R700 this is an alarm bell.

Thinking of adopting and not breed specific? Why not check out Oscars Arc?

If you need a particular breed of Furbaby for your family why not check out KUSA, their registered breeders have registered litters available for you.

Before making any payments, contact the PETport Team on +2763 971 6547. We will gladly verify for you and your family!

How to contact PETport

WhatsApp – 063 971 6547

JHB – 011 965 6397

CPT – 021 824 5288

DBN – 031 708 9011

PLZ – 041 587 5030