What should you be aware of when buying pets online amidst COVID-19?
Due to the travelling restrictions during the pandemic, there are heightened cases of pet scams. Frauds guise themselves as advertisers who will not allow the viewing because of lockdown constraints. We are releasing this Pet Buying Safe Guide to protect our users from pet scams during COVID-19 pandemic.
We are asking our users to stay vigilant for any fraudulent activity on buying, selling, and rehoming pets online. Be wary if the advertiser requests any deposits such as shipping and travel fees ahead of time without showing you the pet.
How do we deal with this?
We are releasing this Pet Buying Safe Guide to protect our users from pet scams during COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the following preventative actions we encourage you to take.
- To avoid scams and unscrupulous sellers, we are discouraging our users from sending deposits without first viewing their desired pets.
- If you can opt for digital viewings, ask the breeder to video chat with you to verify the authenticity of their advert. You should always request to see the puppy or kitten together with their mother even on a video chat.
- Please be aware that although a video chat might help you to verify the ownership of the pet, it still will not guarantee the deposit you decide to make will be protected hence viewing the pet in person is always recommended. Always ask for a receipt and a signed contract when you are there.
- You could also ask for a copy of the pet's medical record, this will not just give you a clear picture of the pet's health history, it will also help to verify the address and the genuine pet ownership of the seller.
What are the crucial things to remember when receiving your pet?
We advise you to follow these tips to keep you safe from being exposed to coronavirus during the handover of your new pet.
- A risk assessment must be made to ensure that the breeder or pet shop can carry out the handover in accordance with the latest government coronavirus safety guidelines.
- Health precautions and social distancing protocols must be maintained at all times in the buying and selling of pets.
- Pets must be wiped over with single-use disposable damp cloth before handing over to the new owners. Anything used on pets must be disposed of properly.
- Handing off of pets should be done in a spacious room where you and the breeder can observe social distancing.
- Avoid cash payment if possible. It is recommended that payments be made through credit card, debit card, or electronic banking.
- Most of the paperwork and documentation must be finalised ahead of the meeting.
This means advice and tips on pet care should be made before collecting the puppy or kitten.
What are the important takeaways in the Pet Safe Buying Guide?
We strongly advise our users against transferring any deposit to the breeder without viewing the pet in person. If you suspect any fraudulent activities, please report it to us immediately so that we can deal with them accordingly.