The idea of adding a furry friend to the family is an exciting one; however the process of finding the right dog, whether puppy or adult can be a long and tedious process. It is not uncommon for anticipating puppy owners to spend hours combing through different breeders and canine candidates online before deciding and making a commitment. With the growth and efficiency of the internet, it has undoubtedly become easier for one to search for available puppies onlineーCraigslist, Kijiji, Petfinder are all examples of such commonly used sites. In this article, we will be discussing about another frequently used pet finding website known as PuppyFind.
What is PuppyFind?
PuppyFind is a free, classified advertisement website that provides an easy and “convenient” way for dog breeders to list their available puppies for sale and for anticipating owners to find their wanted puppies. They offer a large directory of different dog breeds; upon clicking or searching a particular breed you will be brought to a page with a brief overview of the breed and more importantly, a section where you will be shown a list of the available puppies. All of the available puppies shown on the website have been listed for sale by their breeders. A photo of the listed puppy will be shown, in addition to some brief information on the dog.
How does PuppyFind work?
You can think of PuppyFind as a Craigslist for dogs. Dog breeders sign up to list their available puppies for sale online and those who are wanting to purchase a puppy are able to view available puppies on the website. Each dog breeder registered on PuppyFind has a “mini-profile”, in which you are able to view their location, contact information and listed puppies for sale. A feedback rating system is also in place, in which buyers are able to leave a star rating for the dog breeders based on their satisfaction (the value of which we will be discussing below).
PuppyFind do not directly involve themselves with the transactions; their role is to ultimately bring to your attention their consolidated list of available puppies (as listed by their breeders). Upon clicking on a particular puppy, you will be offered a link in which you would be easily able to contact the dog breeder via email.
How does PuppyFind make money?
While it is free for individuals to list advertisements, no contact information will be shown unless the seller opts to sign up for a monthly subscription of $19.99. Essentially, a seller can post a puppy ad, but no one will be able to contact them unless they have paid the subscription fees. It is therefore in the company’s best interests to keep the breeders satisfied- this is something that will come into play when we talk about their feedback system.
The Issues with PuppyFind
While the general idea of a having a puppy finding website is potentially helpful, there are a few things about PuppyFind.com that makes it a less than ideal place to find your future family member.
1.) Anyone is able to list a puppy for sale on the website
Dog breeders are not screened in any way before they are able to list a puppy for sale on PuppyFind. Adding to the fact that the website is free to use, this essentially means that anyone and everyone is able to list a dog for sale on the site. The problem with this is that it basically offers a place for backyard dog breeders to advertise their puppies for sale. There are no restrictions in place whatsoever from preventing them from listing their dogs on PuppyFind.
Signing up to sell puppies on PuppyFind is just a completed form away!
2.) The flaw with the feedback system
An ideal feedback system would involve buyers leaving feedback for a seller upon a completed transaction. Think of E-bay for example, a buyer is given the opportunity to leave a rating for the seller after the purchased item has been received. As a result, the feedback seen on the sellers page is representative of their selling practices.
PuppyFind on the other hand however, does not utilize this type of feedback system. While a simple rating system is in place, it does not require an individual to have completed a transaction with the dog breeder before they are able to leave them a feedback. In other words, anyone is able to register and write a review for a seller regardless whether or not they have truly purchased a puppy from them. While it would be unfair to disregard and dismiss all the breeder ratings on the website due to this, it’s good to keep in mind that the rating system in place can be easily abused and used to someone’s advantage.
3.) The feedback system is heavily controlled by PuppyFind
Yes, unfortunately that was not all that is bad about the website’s feedback system. From reading the experiences of those who have used the site, the general consensus appears to be that PuppyFind will not hesitate to remove those reviews that are in conflict with their business.
What does this mean? It means that they will delete negative reviews on dog breeders, despite the fact that the written account may be entirely accurate and true. Why do they do this? Well, by doing so, the breeders are more likely to make a sale and thus are more likely to pay PuppyFind for continued use of their classified services.
Naturally, this would lead to unnatural bias in feedback ratings.
“I had posted a negative review about a puppy I had bought and the review was removed.” – Kim from complaint boards.com
Upon having their negative review deleted on the website, they were then told the following by PuppyFind via e-mail:
“Due to the abuse of the review system (such as breeders bashing other breeders, people using the system as a message board and other such fake reviews being posted) we have no other choice but to allow sellers to delete invalid reviews.” – PuppyFind
This essentially means that sellers ultimately have the power to delete comments and feedback that they do not agree with or want to be displayed.
“I wrote a review on this persons Puppyfind account and Puppyfind deleted it almost immediately. I received an email from Puppyfind and in the end it comes down to the all mighty dollar. Puppyfind permits false advertising and does not take any action when it is identified and brought to their attention.” – Tom from consumer affairs.com
4.) PuppyFind is often filled with puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills
Let’s start off by saying that a truly reputable dog breeder would not list their available puppies on a classified website such as PuppyFind. More often than not, they would have a wait list of potential owners for their puppies and would not need to advertise on such websites. For more information regarding reputable breeders, please click here.
As mentioned earlier, PuppyFind as a free classified dog website, tends to attract backyard breeders and puppy mills. As a result, most if not all of the puppies listed on the website are poorly bred in less than ideal situations. Unfortunately, many buyers do not realize this until they receive a sickly puppy which has never received as much as a health check, which brings us to our next point.
5.) Many of the young puppies arrive to their new homes sick
While many dog breeders on PuppyFind claim to have had their puppies health checked, the feedback from those who have purchased puppies via the site seem to tell a different story. In many cases, the puppies had arrived ill, with the breeder never once having mentioned anything about any health issues. Health examinations may have been promised however the buyer would never receive their paper documentation. It is not uncommon for sellers to turn silent once they have received payment and have sent the puppy off to their new home, regardless of whether or not they have failed to mention the horribly expensive medical treatments it may take to treat the puppies’ never-mentioned health condition.
“We took him to the vet and he tested positive for Parvovirus. Had to leave him with the vet for two weeks and he almost died. I paid five hundred for the puppy and my vet bill was twelve hundred. The breeder refused to give any money back even though it was within the time period on my contract. – Rebecca from consumeraffairs.com
“I purchased a puppy on March 7 and within a day or so, the puppy got extremely sick. […] The puppy was given a parvo test and came up positive for parvo. After being quarantined and treated, she survived. The bills were $615.57. – Jelene from consumeraffairs.com
“Bought an English bull dog puppy from Missouri. The puppy was shipped with severe kettle cough and Pneumonia. Seller was unwilling to pay medical bills. Puppy had a hernia repair. Never told about that: please beware of buying a dog that needs to be shipped. I have paid 700.00 in medical bills so far. -Tricia from consumer affairs.com
6.) Many mixed puppies are advertised as being pure-bred on the site
It may not be surprising to know that there are indeed, dog scams on the website. Most if not all of the puppies listed on PuppyFind are advertised as being pure-bred, however the truth is a majority of them may actually be of mixed origins. By advertising mixed puppies as pure-bred puppies, dog “breeders” are able to charge prospective buyers a larger cost and thus, be able to gain a larger profit from the dog.
“I purchased a pomeranian from a breeder named Henry on the Hill in March 2015. It is August 2015 and I am still waiting on the allegedly ckc paperwork. I took the dog to the groomers and found out the puppy is not full pom like the breeder said. The puppy is mixed with a other short haired dog. – Anonymous from pissedconsumer.com
Research is therefore key! It is highly recommended for prospective dog owners to perform thorough research on their dog breed of choice, as to avoid such types of scams. To have a general idea of the appearance and pricing of a specific dog breed will only be beneficial; you would be able to discern a pure-bred puppy from a mixed puppy much easier with such knowledge. It is also important to pay attention to the photos posted by the breeder of the puppies.
Let’s take Alaskan Klee Kai puppies as an example; upon first glance of the available puppies, it can be said that many are not pure-bred as advertised simply based on their colouring, markings and price. An Alaskan Klee Kai puppy from a reputable breeder typically runs anywhere between $1800-3000+; if someone has advertised one for a price that’s distinctly different from that range then it would be fair to say that there is a high possibility that you will not be receiving a registered, pure-bred, health checked Alaskan Klee Kai puppy from said breeder.
7.) Beware of scams on PuppyFind
As an unmoderated website, there are scams on PuppyFind. There have been numerous cases reported in which buyers have sent payment to the “breeder” with no delivery of said puppy. In some instances, it is not uncommon for “breeders” to list false advertisements using photos of another individuals dog. Be very wary when choosing a dog breeder (if you must), from PuppyFind as the sellers may not seem to be who they appear to be. Remember that it is never a bad idea to screen and scrutinize someone before sending them a hefty sum! If something seems off, always go with your gut! You can always easily protect yourself from scams by being smart.
What Others Have to Say About PuppyFind
Before dwelling in and making a commitment to something as large as adding a new family member to your home, it is always a good idea to read the words of those who have already used the service; lucky for us, such feedback is only a simple google search away! A quick search with the keywords “PuppyFind Scam” itself generates over 75,000 results.
The general consensus of feedback unfortunately, appears to be negative for PuppyFind.
“I have tried to buy dogs from two different people and have been scammed by both people. I paid for the dogs and never received my dogs.” – Denise from consumer affairs.com
“Put down $400 for german shorthaired pointer puppy. Was never told anything unless asked. Never showed pics of puppies…i have no puppy or refund..keeps making up excuses about why money wasn’t sent….going on since april 2015.” – Anonymous from pissedconsumer.com
While it cannot be said that all sellers on PuppyFind mean harm, the risk of of finding yourself in an ill situation from using their website remains to be high. With the monetary amount involved in bringing a puppy home, it is highly recommended for one to seek a puppy from a more reliable source.