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Not Really Free to a Good Home
Beware puppy rescue scams

A reader recently sent me a link to Mitch Lipka’s “Consumer Ally” blog warning about scams involving “free” and/or rescued puppies in pre-pay scams. I’ve known about “shipping” cons, like the one recently reported by the Oregon attorney general, where an advertiser offering a free-to-a-good-home dog requires money be wired to cover shipping costs. Of course, when the mark shows up to collect his or her new buddy, there is no dog. What I didn’t realize is that some scammers pose as the good guys. According to an ASPCA primer on puppy scams and cons, sometimes puppy mills set up a fake rescue and sanctuary to exploit the good will of adopters by charging as much as $1,000 in “adoption fees” for a puppies. We can all serve to be on notice. Buyer and rescuer beware!

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

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