Goldendoodles, Maltipoos, Morkies – mixed dog breeds are extremely popular these days. But finding a local breeder can be difficult. That’s why some impatient pet owners are starting to search online. But NBC4’s I-Team has a warning before you.
Tracey Gilchrist was smitten with Morkie puppies, a mix of Maltese and Yorkie, which she found online.
“It’s exactly what I wanted,” she said.
Gilchrist found the dogs on a website called Charley Morkie Pups. The breeder offered to sell Gilchrist a puppy named Nina for $700. So she sent him the money via Zelle. A few days later, the breeder made another offer to Gilchrist.
“‘We still have other puppies available, and would you be interested in his sister, as they are very close,'” she recalled, telling the breeder. “Why wouldn’t I jump at the chance?” »
Gilchrist Zelled the breeder $600 for this pup. But soon after, he ghosted her.
“And now the crickets, now I don’t hear from him,” she said.
Gilchrist thought the breeder was legit, based on customer reviews on their website. But the I-Team found the exact same reviews, word for word, on similar sites selling different dog breeds. The dog Gilchrist bought, Nina, is still for sale on Charley Morkie Pups, but we also found this same picture of her for sale on another site under the name Joules.
“How dare you take advantage of people and really play on their emotions,” Gilchrist said.
The I-Team contacted Charley Morkie Pups but received no response. Better Business Bureau’s Steve McFarland isn’t surprised.
“Every year, I think we break records in the number of complaints we receive about breeders and pet scams,” McFarland said.
He says that in 60% of the complaints he receives about breeders, the consumer never got the puppy they bought and never got their money back.
McFarland says that before buying a dog from a breeder, you need to do a lot of research. Ask the breeder to connect you with past clients, see a vet report for the pup you want to buy, and meet you via Zoom if they can’t meet in person.
“In those conversations, you should be asking, ‘Hey, can you put me on camera so I can see Fluffy? You want to have live conversations with that breeder who can give you references and historical facts about the animal,” McFarland said.
As for Gilchrist, she decided to adopt a dog from a local shelter.
“I’m just going to go out there and get a second chance dog for sure,” she said.