AG Nessel releases video warning of pet-adoption scams

Experts say pets can also make a big difference with emotional health.
Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 18:00:51-04

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

The humorous video posted to YouTube conveys a narrative in which Nessel’s parents receive a pet lizard they believe is the St. Bernard they ordered online.

Watch the video here:

“While we saw a spike in pet adoptions and purchases at the beginning of the pandemic, the possibility of bad actors looking to scam pet lovers remains a concern at all times,” Nessel writes. “It remains imperative that future pet owners do their research before committing to anything. And if you think you encountered a scam, contact my Consumer Protection Team right away.”

Nessel advises potential pet owners to do the following before purchasing an animal companion:

  • Research the breed: Consider the breed’s common health problems and average sale price.
  • Research the breeder: This includes searching the breeder’s email address to see if it appears on multiple sites. Also search the breeder’s testimonials and see if it appears on other websites. If either scenario occurs, there’s a good chance the breeder is a scam artist.
  • See the animal before you buy: Request to see the pet in a video chat if in-person visits are not possible, or ask the breeder to send an image or video clip of the animal next to a piece of paper with your name and date on it.
  • Purchase the animal using a credit card: Avoid gift cards and money-transfer apps.
  • Keep detailed records of communications with the breeder: These will be needed in case fraud does occur.
  • Consider adopting from a local shelter: Adopting from a shelter reduces overcrowding and stress on the animals being held.

Click here for more information.

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

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