Guest Blog by Trish Tribble - RED FLAGS WHEN BUYING A PUPPY.

Following the feature on "Fair Go" this week, which highlighted a woman who had been scammed for over $7000 to buy a non-existant Pomeranian puppy, Trish Tribble of Tribble Kennels, posted the following advice in her Facebook Group. It's such good advice that Trish kindly allowed us to reprint it here as it applies to anyone buying a puppy online.

In New Zealand, ( as overseas) we are targeted by scammers using pics of seemingly adorable small, pom pups.

How do I avoid been scammed?

  • Firstly, ask breeder for Dogs NZ registration number. If they don't have one, they also probably aren't breeding to what poms should look like. It also means they aren't regulated and can breed the same dog over and over and over for the life of dog.

  • Ask what sports or achievements their dogs have. If not achieving any titles, why are they breeding?

  • Rare colours- there are only a few known colors in poms, in nz merles and black and tans are not allowed. There is 1 white in nz. Not breeding.( member belongs in this our group)

  • Shipping in NZ - We don't have quarantine between regions. Air pet transport and pick up should be available.

  • A large deposit before buying puppy ($300 or more) could also be a red flag.

  • Beware hugely expensive or unbelievable low price, additional fees, etc.

  • Ask to visit breeders home to see the dogs, and how they live.

  • If buying off TradeMe, organize someone to visit the breeders home

  • If breeder is relocating overseas, or unable to meet you, stop the process.

  • Ask breeder for name of their vet and for permission to call and ask the vet about them. (This IS a thing)

  • Don't be fooled by rare colors, or fads. They aren't rare, they are just wrong colors.

  • If you feel uneasy about any part of the deal, stop.

  • Ask one of the breeders in a recognised group, or post a thread just asking.

  • There are "breeders" who "breed pets", but if they won't let you see the dogs, or refuse a visit, stay away.

  • If a breeder calls the pups 'tea cup', ' micro''toy', ' throwbacks or anything BUT a pomeranian, stay away.

  • There is only ONE pomeranian. "Baby doll" and "Teddy bear" signify muzzle shape. but are not defined in the standard.

  • Its fine to buy overseas, but not unless the breeder can provide a video with today's newspaper (their country's) and demand video of puppy moving. There are many sites that show a doll that isn't actually real. (The photo above is a stuffed toy, not a real dog. People have been scammed thinking that's the puppy they are buying)

  • If a site has a list of puppies and a "buy now" button on it, leave the site. It's a puppy mill.

  • Reverse Google the image. If comes up anywhere else, it could be a stolen pic.

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