How to Spot Scammers in Dog Rescue

How to Spot Scammers in Dog Rescue

We’ve put these top tips together to help you to know how to spot the scammers in dog rescue.

So you’ve decided to adopt a dog and you’ve seen one you’ve fallen in love with 😍 Those puppy dog eyes have drawn you in so you message their Facebook Page. They respond straight away and tell you there’s lots of interest in this pup. They send you some more photos and then say to secure the puppy you’ll need to pay the adoption fee straight away. You cannot miss this opportunity, so you send the money straight over and are so excited the puppy is yours!….. Only to realise that they’ve stopped replying and disappeared… You’ve been scammed 😩

It’s heartbreaking to be scammed. You lose your money, feel deceived, and have your heart broken too. In the short time it takes to be scammed you’d got attached to the idea of those puppy dog eyes being the ones you’ll wake up to see each day 😩

This sort of story is becoming all too common across social media platforms. The scammers preying on kind-hearted people looking to help animals and adopt. We often hear people have been scammed before they find us 😩 It’s just awful! So we thought we’d put together our top tips on how to spot scammers in dog rescue and how to recognise reputable rescue organisations:

Top Tips on How to Spot the Scammers in Dog Rescue

  • Be careful if you comment on or post about wanting to adopt a dog in a public rescue group. Scammers are hanging around these groups looking to prey on people who want to adopt. You also do not know the legitimacy of online groups, there are sadly many scam groups setting up on social media platforms.
  • If you get a direct message from someone claiming to be associated with a rescue, message the rescue organisation direct to validate that the person is a genuine representative.
  • If you comment on a post about a dog to adopt and the original poster asks you to message them direct rather than answering questions in the comments, that is a red flag so be careful.
  • No genuine rescue organisation will ask you to send money until you’ve had conversations about the dog, seen videos and photos, had a video call with the rescuers and filled in an application form.
  • Ask for the people’s names and to be able to see their Facebook profile. Look at their profile and see if they look like a real person with real contacts. Someone who only has a profile photo and hardly any friends is likely to be a scammer. Look at their friend list as well as they could just have a bunch of fake friends too 🙄
  • Ask to speak to others who have adopted through them. Most rescue organisations will have a private adopters group that you can join to ask adopters questions.
  • Ask to see the adoption contract that you would have to sign when you adopt the dog. If they don’t have one or they do not have clauses in there where the dog must be returned to them if the adoption falls through, then walk away!
  • Ask them what rescue backup they provide. What happens if it doesn’t work out with the dog you adopt? There MUST be rescue back up and evidence of what they will do if you need to return the dog.
  • Ask to see photos of the rescue shelter the dog is coming from and to have contact with the volunteers looking after the dogs.
  • Find out as much as you can about the people and the organisation independently. Do they have a website? Reviews on their website? Reviews on Google business or TrustPilot? Search for the organisation or person’s name on Google and see what comes up.
  • Any reputable rescue organisation will be happy to answer all these questions and provide evidence to you. DO NOT JUST TRUST what people say, see the evidence.
  • If you have been scammed, do your best to let others know so they don’t catch anyone else out. Report them to wherever the scam occurred, ie Facebook, and report them to online fraud.
  • Do your research on any rescue organisation you adopt through, whether foreign or UK-based.

We hope our top tips will help you feel confident in how to spot the scammers in dog rescue. Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like more information.

Details about Saving Souls Animal Rescue

Saving Souls Animal Rescue is a Limited Company no. 13748029. You can find out all about us and the rescue shelters we support in Cyprus on our About Us page and the team behind our UK rescue division on our Meet the Team page. We formed the limited company in lieu of applying for official charity registration.

While we only formed the company in November 2021, Jan Appleby had been assisting Cyprus dog rescues for 15 years as part of previous rescue charities, before starting up her own organisation.

Jan Appleby has helped to rehome thousands of dogs from Cyprus to the UK.

We have a private Facebook group for our adopters – anyone is welcome to join to ask questions: Saved Souls

To read reviews about us:

You can also view our Adoption Contract.

To see the dogs we have available to adopt, look at our Dogs Available for Adoption

Written by:

Marianne Streather

Marianne is our website editor and general admin assistant. Marianne has worked in software development for 20 years and also helps her husband run their small cycle coaching business. Marianne adopted her first rescue dog through Saving Souls in November 2020 and now wants to help more dogs escape the cage and find loving homes.

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