New Pet Travel Scams

New Pet Owners often fall victim to pet scams and usually it does not just hurt your pocket, but also your heart.   When a pet owner is about to get themselves a new pet, they often rely only on the internet and this is one of the most dangerous places one should consider finding a new pet.  We highly recommend that you visit your local animal shelter (there are many!), as they will not only have the animal evaluated to ensure that you and your family are perfect for the new animal (eg: temperament, behaviour, environment, children, other pets, neighbours etc all form part of successfully adopting a pet), but you also have a form of recourse and a place to go when you need more help after you have your new family member.  The internet is no-mans-land in this department!

The most prevelant scams are the ones that touch the strings of your heart:  "URGENT:  Dog found destitute, and needs a new home.  Free to a good home, all you need to pay is the transport"  Once you have paid the (first) deposit, then they will come up with all sorts of excuses to get more money out of you.  For example:  The animal needs a special crate or a special permit or vaccination, and this comes at a premium!  And away you go with more money being deposited.  They just keep on pushing their luck until such time that you (Their Latest Victim) come to realise that this animal never existed and you have been scammed.

BidAir Cargo have started growing their PetLounge services at airports around South Africa, and they are the ones who get to most often hear these heart breaking stories.  Below they share with you some tips and advice for when you want to get a new pet and travelling is involved.

To avoid scams when transporting or buying a pet please be aware of the following methods scammers are using:

  • It ‘s a scam if companies insist on pet insurance. This is not a requirement when your pet travels by air.
  • Be alert when companies require a large refundable deposit upon delivery, often this deposit is not refundable and is accompanied with no delivery of the promised pet.
  • If someone is selling you a generally expensive or exotic pet for cheaply, think twice! The saying goes if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Be careful of adverts online giving away pets for free which may only require charges for transportation. Always do reference checks before making any payments.
  • The PetLounge does not require any temperature controlled or electronic crates, nor do we require a food or energiser vaccine!
  • Remember the only requirements when using the PetLounge are an IATA approved crate, the pet’s official vaccination card and a pet that is older than 8 weeks.

Should you receive an unusual request, please contact our PetLounge on 011 230 4600 or on to confrm if this is a requirement from the PetLounge for animal air travel.


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