AG Nessel visits Michigan Humane to learn more about responsible adoption and strengthen consumer protection against puppy scams

AG Nessel visits Michigan Humane to learn more about responsible adoption and strengthen consumer protection against puppy scams

Agency: Attorney General

Media Contact: Lynsey Mukomel 517-599-2746
Public inquiries: 517-335-7622

22 December 2021

DETROIT –Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel spent Wednesday morning in Michigan Humane to highlight important reminders as many people are considering adding a family member during the holiday season.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Department has seen a slight increase in complaints about puppy-related scams, so Nessel is reissuing its Consumer Alert to provide tips to help consumers spot and avoid them.

One specific scam that has been reported asks the consumer to pay the breeder and then a “third party shipper” is involved to ship the puppy to the consumer’s location. In reality, the breeder and the sender are the same person. On the day the puppy is supposed to be sent to the consumer, the sender contacts the consumer to ask for more money for insurance and a special case – then again for more vaccinations. By the time the consumer understands, the con artist will often threaten to be arrested for abandoning the dog.

The best practices below can help consumers avoid falling victim to these scams:

  • research the breed;
  • find the breeder;
  • search for the advertised puppy;
  • don’t buy a puppy blindly;
  • use a credit card to make the purchase; and
  • keep all documents and communications from the breeder.

“Pets are our four-legged family,” Nessel said. Michigan Humane does an important job of making sure every pet can find a loving home. My office also remains committed to holding accountable anyone who tries to take advantage of those looking to add a pet this holiday season. My Puppy Scams Consumer Alert can help educate Michiganders about the risks and recalls when researching online. ”

Nessel is also partnering with Michigan Humane to promote the adoption of pets at local shelters instead of online shopping.

“We totally agree with the Attorney General that pets are an important part of our family,” said Michigan Humane President and CEO Matt Pepper. “And by choosing to adopt a Michigan Humane pet, families can rest assured that they are winning a new family member from a trusted organization.”

To help even more animals find loving homes this holiday season, Michigan Humane cuts adoption fees on dogs selected in all their adoption centers until the end of the year with their “Vacation Home” promotion.

“We want to encourage families to consider adopting an adult pet as well, because they have as much love to give and joy to give as any of our puppies,” noted Pepper.

And as a reminder, if you are unable to adopt this time of year, donations are always appreciated to help Michigan Humane create new families throughout the year.

The Ministry of the Attorney General provides a library of resources that consumers can consult at any time on a variety of topics.

Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or a phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website or, if you have questions, call 877-765-8388.


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