Bloomsburg, PA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Ohio

Q: I have a question on consumer laws regarding purchase of a puppy from breeder in Ohio. I am in Pa.

I found a puppy online. I contacted the owner on FB msger but got no reply. I then saw the same puppy listed with another woman claiming to be seller's mom. I messaged her about the puppy, and we made arrangements. I never actually spoke with the daughter. Mother disclosed that the pup had an overbite which may or may not lead to problems, surgery, etc. I agreed to take the pup anyway. She said multiple times that pup would be ready to go week of July 9th at 12 weeks old. I made arrangements in my schedule to get him week of July 9th. She emailed me the contract for the business name which is under daughter's name only. ( who I never communicated with.) I had to pay a 500.00 deposit, which I did via paypal goods and services to an email add. belonging to a 3rd woman, who I never spoke to. I never got a receipt from any of the women. Now she said I must wait til the 20th when other buyers pup is ready because she doesnt want to make 2 separate trips to PA. Can I get dep back?

2 Lawyer Answers
Taylor P Waters
Taylor P Waters
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: It depends on what the contract says regarding the deposit. It does seem like there are multiple red flags here and you might be dealing with an Amish puppy mill situation. If you had a firm agreement that you could get the puppy for the week of July 9, that might be sufficient to get the deposit back but the cost of pursuing it would likely exceed the total cost of the deposit.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick

A: Oh boy. After doing this stuff for 41+ years it is getting much easier to recognize potential BIG problems when they cross my path. As noted by Ms. Waters (above), there are multiple red stop signs that began flashing warning signs way back in the beginning--when you got no reply from the purported owner (who you never met) on FB--and then "saw the same puppy listed with another woman (who you never met) claiming to be the seller's mom." The crowning event that should have derailed your obsessive quest was when the purported "mom" of the purported seller required you to send $500 to yet another person who you never met either.

Advice: Start today, July 10, gathering every document, every email, every text and legible screenshot copies of the FB page, and everything else you can use to support you budding case, and then sit back for another10 days until the last promise to meet day arises, then go to the appointed place fully prepared to pick up some 12 week old puppy (which may not be the puppy you fell in love with on FB) and see what happens. If no one shows, go directly to the police station closest to the place where you think the thieves are making a good living cheating people like you.

(Note: Meantime, I will pray for you, and ask that this sad scenario does NOT arise.)

1 user found this answer helpful

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