Police find department’s comfort dog ‘Patch’ listed as up for adoption on scam Instagram site

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MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Police have been made aware of a scammer posting pictures of dogs online and trying to sell them via Instagram.  One of the dogs posted was our comfort dog “Patch.”  The page claimed to sell service dogs to people with disabilities, and Patch was listed as “ready to be matched.” Photos were taken from another site and used in the ad. The page has since been deleted, but the MPD wanted to use this opportunity to educate people.

Scams involving pet sales have been around for a while now, and the internet makes it more complicated.

  • If you are interested in purchasing an animal, face to face is always best.
  • Exchange money at a safe drop off location, like a police department. If you are using the internet to buy, never pay via money order or Western Union. Use a credit card in case you need to dispute the charges.
  • Be sure to ask for multiple pictures. Even go so far as to ask that the animal be posed with specific items, like a dog toy or a recent newspaper to ensure that the animal is in their possession and not just a stock photo.
  • Ask for vet records and other proof. If the person is claiming to be a breeder ask for breeder information.

We hope these tips help prospective pet buyers safely get what they are looking for and not fall victim to a scam.

Patch says, “Don’t be fooled by online pet scams!”