Pet Scams

Pet scams are increasingly common and many scammers are using the names of legitimate pet transport companies to get your money. Here are some things to watch out for and resources you can use.

Starwood Does Not Sell Animals

Starwood does not sell puppies, kittens, or any other type of animal. We typically do not work with breeders or transport puppies or kittens. We do not work with people selling animals on social media such as Facebook or Craigslist. We work directly with clients who already have a cat or dog and they need to relocate them for a variety of reasons.

Starwood does not ask for last-minute "transport" or "insurance" fees nor do we ask for any "refundable" fees for any service, especially a "thermal electronic crate." If someone is communicating with you about these things, they are NOT legitimate and you are likely being scammed. 

This is our ONLY business website:

We only use business email addresses that end with

If someone sends you another link or email address, then it is not legitimate.

Warning Signs

  • Emails or websites with poor grammar, spelling, and weird formats
  • Using different versions of the company name within emails, websites, email addresses, or other methods of communication
  • Websites or email addresses that do not align with the actual business name
  • Refusal to allow you to video call or pick up the animal yourself if you are able
  • Asks for payment using gift cards, Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, or bank wire transfers using different private email addresses
  • Claims an animal is "free" but you have to pay for things like a transport fee, special crate, insurance, vaccinations or other things that are deemed "refundable"
  • Saying you have a "registration number" or are "registered with Starwood" - Starwood does NOT use registration numbers for pet travel

Keep Yourself Safe

  • Do your homework! Research not only the transportation company but the breeder or seller of the animal.
  • Ask to do a video call with the seller and the animal so you can ensure the pet is real.
  • Verify the email, website, and phone number of the person or company you are speaking with.
  • Consider adopting a pet locally instead!

How to Report a Scam

  • Contact your bank and the company you used to send them money to see if you can get your money back
  • File a report with local law enforcement
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
  • Contact the website where you saw the ad and report it

 Other Pet Scam Resources