This Is the State With the Most Puppy Scams

About 90 million dogs are owned by Americans. Some of these dogs are bought or adopted when they are adults. Many are puppies. Often, people can see these puppies before they buy them. Sometimes they are bought from breeders and the first time owners see them is when they arrive., a veterinarian location service, recently published a study titled “Puppies for Sale: The States with the Most Online Puppy Scams.” Its researchers used Better Business Bureau data from the first 10 months of this year. They then pulled out those that covered puppies. Although not a strong methodology, it may be directionally correct. Each state’s population also was used for the calculations. This approach allowed them to register total puppy scams and scams per 100,000 people. Data was also collected for the same period in 2019, so that any COVID-19 effects were eliminated. also wanted to report how much these scams cost people, so researchers calculated that number as well.

The states with the highest number of puppy scams matched states by total population. California was first at 345, followed by Texas (242), Florida (219) and New York (219). The amount of money lost ranged from over $1,000 to $500 at the low end.

On a per 100,000 basis, many of the states had low populations. Montana ranked first at 1.94, followed by Colorado, Nevada and Idaho. The amount of money lost per purchase based on this yardstick measured from over $1,000 to as low at just above $400.

These are the states with the most puppy scams per 100,000 residents:

State Scams per 100K Avg Loss
Montana 1.94 $357.14
Colorado 1.50 $940.45
Nevada 1.43 $1,003.44
Idaho 1.42 $756.35
District of Columbia 1.41 $455.00
Arizona 1.36 $807.79
Nebraska 1.29 $937.86
New Mexico 1.28 $590.37
Rhode Island 1.13 $698.00
Alaska 1.10 $638.00

Click here to see which dogs stay puppies the longest.