AG Nessel publishes video warning about pet adoption scams

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released a new video warning residents of pet scams circulating in the state.

The humorous video posted on YouTube tells a story in which Nessel’s parents are given a pet lizard they believe to be the Saint Bernard they ordered online.

Watch the video here:

“While we saw a spike in pet adoptions and purchases early in the pandemic, the possibility of bad actors looking to rip off pet lovers remains a concern at all times,” writes Nessel. “It remains imperative that prospective pet owners do their research before committing to anything. And if you believe you have been scammed, contact my consumer protection team immediately.”

Nessel advises potential pet owners to do the following before purchasing a pet:

  • Research the breed: Consider the breed’s common health issues and average selling price.
  • Do a search on the breeder: This includes researching the breeder’s email address to see if it appears on multiple sites. Also look for the breeder’s testimonials and see if they appear on other websites. If either scenario occurs, chances are the breeder is a scammer.
  • See the animal before buying: Ask to see the animal in a video chat if in-person visits aren’t possible, or ask the breeder to send an image or video clip of the animal alongside a piece of paper with your name on it and the date on it.
  • Buy the animal by credit card: Avoid gift cards and money transfer apps.
  • Keep detailed records of communications with the breeder: These will be necessary in case of fraud.
  • Consider adopting from a local shelter: Adopting from a shelter reduces overcrowding and stress on held animals.

Click on here for more information.

Contact the state if you think you are a victim of fraud.

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