Watch out for this teacup Morkie scam

Watch out for this teacup Morkie scam

If you’re looking for a Morkie, you might be attracted to the idea of a teacup Morkie. And no wonder – we love things that are tiny and vulnerable. They’re just so cute!

BUT… teacups are not a breed or type of dog. They’re simply first or second generation runts. Too-tiny dogs bred to too-tiny dogs. They have all sorts of health issues and don’t live as long.


Tiny dog: big scam

On top of all that, there’s a scam circulating among unscrupulous breeders:

teacup puppy scam


Breeders will advertise – and sell – puppies as young as 5 or 6 weeks old, as 12 week or older puppies. The result, the dog is MUCH smaller than you’d expect, so you believe it is indeed a so-called teacup.


Problems of dogs weaned too early

If the pup is not really a teacup —  and that’s good after all– there’s still a big problem. Puppies removed too soon from their mothers have lots of physical and behavioural problems. Puppies taken away too early can be biters – because their litter and mother haven’t had time to socialize them against biting. They can also be:

  • attention seekers
  • barkers
  • aggressive with strangers
  • obsessive paw licking
  • very possessiveness with food
  • obsessive tail chasers
  • overly fearful
  • destructive


Read more about the Korean Puppy Scam

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Get a Morkie

For more tips on getting a good quality Mokrie, write for my free e-book.  No cost, no obligation, just 27 fact filled pages.  Click here to download.





Should I rescue a Morkie from a shelter?

Should I rescue a Morkie from a shelter?

Non-shedding morkiesGetting a Morkie?  Chances are you will buy it from a reliable person who breeds them as a hobby. Or, you’ll choose to get one from a shelter or rescue site.

What are the pros and cons of getting a shelter or rescue Morkie?  And are rescue dogs damaged or otherwise ‘second class’ goods?

Should you buy a Morkie or get one from a shelter?

It’s always better to get a dog from a shelter.  In America alone, about 1.2 million healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized every year. That’s more than 2 dogs per minute put down in U.S. shelters each year. Whenever you can find a dog YOU want, and save a life at the same time, it’s a win-win.

Aren’t shelter dogs “flawed”?

One of the most harmful myths about shelter dogs is that they’re bad. They’re unmanageable or they can’t be trained. That’s how they ended up in a shelter.  But that’s just wrong. Consider this:

tiny blond morkie puppy on blue background

Dogs end up in shelters because OWNERS have made bad choices. Not because they are bad dogs.

8 main reasons dogs are given up:

  1. lifestyle change – owner divorcing, moving, military deployment, owner dies
  2. lack of training – owner didn’t bother to train the dog, so is frustrated now that the pet is badly behaved, with problems in potty training, socialization or obedience
  3. lack of time – owner didn’t think it through and finds he doesn’t have the time to devote to a pet
  4. cost – dogs cost money. Food, grooming, vet care, training and regular immunization all add up
  5. too many pets in the home – clearly a lack of thinking on the owner’s part. Pets are not impulse items!
  6. dog is sick or old – people may shirk their responsibility to their animals and take the easy route out – let the shelter deal with those hard decisions
  7. the animal was seized from an abusive environment
  8. allergies develop in the home – could be a new partner, child or other who has allergies, or allergies could suddenly develop.  This is the one reason that isn’t the owner’s fault — but it represents just 7 to 8% of the reasons given why the animal was turned in according to Petfinder.

MYTH:  Shelter dogs are “damaged goods” and there’s no hope for them as pets.

Twin MorkiesThis myth comes back to the mistaken belief that it’s the dog’s fault he’s in a shelter. The truth is, it’s the owner’s fault.  The owner didn’t think it through, or didn’t plan well. Or circumstances changed in the owner’s life and now the dog isn’t part of the plan. Perhaps the owner didn’t train the dog and so now, he’s now fed up.

Sometimes – and it’s rare – a family member develops an allergy to the pet. THAT is not the owners’ fault. Or the dog’s fault.

But even allergies can be minimized. Extra grooming and special shampoos can reduce the allergens the dog gives off.  And since Morkies, Yorkies and Maltese have hair, not fur they don’t shed. That means they’re a better choice for allergy-sensitive people.

To think “I don’t want a second-rate pet from a rescue” is both shallow and short-sighted. Take a look and you’ll see that these are great little dogs with the same potential as any to become your treasured, life-long companion.

One more factor to consider with shelter dogs: they are been fostered while they wait for a forever home.

dog surrendered to shelterThese foster families are well-versed in how to train and take care of dogs. They to work with them dogs to rehabilitate any shortcomings the dog may have. Many shelter pets receive training and socialization before adoption. That makes the transition to their new family easier.

It’s sad to think of an animal kept in a shelter for months and months and even years. But the web is overflowing with stories about the discarded dog who’s found a happy home with a new family.

Despite past abuse and hurt, he’s a sweet and devoted family member. It is just another demonstration of the power of dogs to forgive us.

In answer to our headline question: Should I rescue a Morkie from a shelter? Our resounding answer is


Please consider adoption when you’re looking for a new pet.

large 7 things on laptop

Thinking about getting a Morkie? Please download my FREE Guide:

there are 7 things you need to know! 

This 27-page report – FREE to download — is packed with helpful information on what to look for if you’re considering a Morkie.

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Is Pet Insurance Worth it?

Is Pet Insurance Worth it?

got insurance morkie yorkie thumbnail

What is pet insurance?

Dog insurance is a service that will help you plan for and manage the cost of maintaining your dog’s health. You usually pay a small amount per month – around a dollar a day – and major illness or injuries are covered up to a certain amount.

More and more today, companies will also pay some portion of ‘regular maintenance’ or preventative type of expenses such as neutering or spaying and vaccinations.  This is sometimes called  comprehensive care.

Some policies will also pay out when the pet dies, or if he’s lost or stolen.

What kind of coverage do you need?

It’s complicated, depending on the kind of coverage you’re looking for and where you live.

Two categories of insurance

What you’ll want to consider

  • Whether genetic and hereditary conditions (like hip dysplasia, heart defects, eye cataracts or diabetes) are covered
  • Review any age limits for coverage. Some insurers require the pet to be 8 weeks old, some don’t cover pets over a certain age and some have no age limit
  • How the reimbursement is calculated (based on the actual Vet bill, a benefit schedule or a percent?)
  • Whether there are any limits or caps applied (per incident, per year or over the pet’s lifetime)

The self-insurance idea

Although this is certainly a viable way to go – you put aside a certain amount, say $30 a month, in a separate account earning even the minimum of interest. Then, when your Morkie has a major medical expense, you withdraw the money.

A couple of flaws with this plan though:

  • What happens if your Morkie gets ill early on? Puppies swallow things that need surgery; accidents can happen at any age
  • Will your modest savings cover some of the very complex procedures that are available today? As Veterinary care gets more sophisticated, it also gets more expensive
  • And finally, will you really do it?

If you think you’ve got the discipline it might be a good idea to put some money aside AND get a low-cost, no frills insurance policy too.

Here’s an easy shortcut:

Pet Insurance Review – found at

At this site, you simply:

  • Read reviews and opinions from thousands of customers
  • Compare rates and coverage from the leading pet insurers
  • Get free quotes from multiple pet insurance companies
Why you should NEVER buy a dog from Craigslist

Why you should NEVER buy a dog from Craigslist

A very, very sad story today on the news out of California… a family bought a beautiful Morkie puppy from a Craigslist seller. Within just 6 days, Copper, the Yorkie Maltese mix, was dead.

As buyer Kathy Nixon said, “It’s very upsetting to see my children go through this.”

Her Veterinarian confirmed that the puppy would have been sold already suffering from the parvo virus. And of course, the Craigslist seller refused to cover the nearly $900 vet bill.

Getting a Puppy? NEVER buy from Craigslist, Kijiji and the like. 

Because of puppy mills, both Kijiji and Craigslist have been targets of international petitions demanding they remove the sale of animals and only promote adoption from registered animal rescue groups and shelters, and the re-homing of family pets (for a small adoption fee).

After this backlash, both sites have backed off pet sales to some degree, but do allow people to advertise to re-home their own pet to a forever home. So now, unscrupulous puppy mill breeders pose as regular dog owners, hoping to re-home their pet. There is a “small” fee which is usually anywhere from $200 to $650 and up, supposedly for shipping and other ‘costs’. As one writer put it:

“I thought I would be doing a good deed and providing a forever home. Instead, it was a breeder scam.”


Hand made sign Morkies for saleBe sure to ask to visit the breeder’s kennel or home, and see the other Morkies and dogs they have. Otherwise, you could be buying blind.

If the seller insists on meeting you at a halfway point, or somewhere other than where the other puppies and parent dogs are, it’s a sure sign you’re dealing with a puppy mill.


The California Case 

Ironically, there is a law in California that protects people who buy dogs…. But this seller insists she’s not a “real breeder.”  If you buy from a breeder, defined in California as someone who in a year sells at least twenty puppies or three litters, you have rights if a dog becomes sick within the first 15 days.

  • You can return the dog for a refund and get your vet bills covered up to the dog’s purchase price.
  • Exchange the dog and get your vet bills for to the amount the dog cost.
  • Or keep the dog and get up to 150% of the price to cover the vet bills with proof of the illness

 Want more tips on avoiding sick puppies, scams and puppy mill dogs?

FREE REPORT- 7 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET A MORKIE.pDownload my free e-book, “The 7 Things You Need to Know Before you Get a Morkie.” Among other tips, this e-book tells you how to avoid getting stung like Kathy Nixon.

Warning signs that you’re probably dealing with a puppy mill or unscrupulous backyard breeder

  1. The “breeder” is local, but no, you can’t visit. Instead, he or she wants to meet at a halfway point, a mall or car-park
  2. You can visit – but you see 3 or more different dog breeds running around. This is a red flag that the breeder isn’t committed to one breed or hybrid and is just breeding whatever dogs she has around in order to make money.
  3. Dirty or stinky facilities. Genuine breeders love their dogs and put their care first. The home and puppy area should be clean and tidy and a safe environment for the puppies and parents.
  4. Hand painted signs on the road, advertising puppies for sale.
  5. Puppies are always available, and the breeder will let you take one at Christmas, Easter, etc. No good breeder will release a puppy during these high-stress times and no responsible breeder always has a handy supply of puppies.
  6. Stay away from anyone who’s selling puppies at a public place like a flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car or van.
  7. Be suspicious of the breeder who doesn’t demand that you spay or neuter your puppy. A genuine breeder will ask you to sign an agreement that your dog will NOT be bred.




No cost, no obligation. Just good information for fellow dog lovers.

7 things you need to know before you get a MORKIE



Be Very Careful With Teacups – They’re Fragile!

Be Very Careful With Teacups – They’re Fragile!

yorkie in a teacup

Are you thinking of getting a “Teacup” Morkie? They’re so tiny and adorable, who wouldn’t want one, but before you decide, please read up on so-called teacups, teensies or baby dolls and the problems in “miniaturizing” dogs like Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Morkies.

National kennel clubs around the world set out the breed standards for all purebred dogs, and those standards state that the Yorkshire Terrier is “ideally four to seven pounds.”

Even professional dog handlers who show Yorkies for a living prefer their dogs around five or six pounds.

The Maltese dog is ideal at “five to seven pounds.”

So you can see both breeds are roughly the same size – so should the Morkie, their crossbreed.

While many people think that the “teacup” is a separate breed, it is not a recognized size or breed. These dogs are simply smaller versions of the “regular” Yorkshire Terrier, and sadly are often sickly dogs with health complications that can lead to a shorter life.

Yorkies, Morkies and Maltese are already a very small and fragile breed, but with a dog under 4 pounds, the dangers are magnified. When Yorkies are too small – under four pounds – owners face at least five serious problems including difficulty feeding and house-training and sudden low blood sugar than can lead to shock and even death!

One of the big concerns in a super small dog is just how fragile it is.

The bones of a “teacup” are extremely fragile; a jump from the couch or other pets in the household can seriously injure the super-tiny dog. Their bones are so fragile that they can break by jumping off furniture, falling off a bed, being stepped on or worse. Of course, these very small dogs are not suitable for children.


Super tiny teacup Morkies are not sturdy enough for children. This one is about 6 pounds, ideal for a careful child.

Besides very fragile bones, the “teacup’s” organs are often underdeveloped and can suddenly fail.

Mother dogs who are purposely bred because they are very small, often die from cardiac arrest while giving birth, which is a good indicator that this is not a healthy weight. Plus, even the smallest sign of illness must be taken very seriously, so “teacup” owners can expect to spend a lot of time and money at the veterinarian’s.

With proper care and nutrition a “teacup” live five to seven years. That’s well below the average life expectancy of a regular Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese – which is 12 to 15 years or more.

Some of the smaller “teacups” weighing in at less than 2 pounds, may live only three or four years, another consideration before deciding on one.

If  you’re thinking about getting a Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese dog, check out this downloadable e-book.  It’s only $7.00 and includes 110 pages of helpful, unbiased information.


When you cross these two pure breeds, you get a Morkie, the magical blend of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese.

In this 110-page e-book you’ll learn all about each dog and how their behavior, qualities and concerns affect you the owner.

  • which small dog is best for a family?
  • do all three breeds get along with cats?
  • what are some typical health concerns to watch out for?
  • what is the lifespan of these dogs?
  • which breed barks more?
  • can they be potty-trained easily?
  • … and lots more
For just $7 you can download this e-book to read on your computer, tablet or smart phone (it’s in PDF format) and learn more.


Beware of teacup dogs: they’re extremely fragile!

Beware of teacup dogs: they’re extremely fragile!

Teacup Morkies – good idea?

yorkie in a teacupThey’re so tiny and adorable, who wouldn’t want one, but before you decide, please read up on so-called teacups, teensies or baby dolls and the problems in “miniaturizing” purebreeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Morkies.

National kennel clubs around the world set out the breed standards for all purebreed dogs, and those standards state that the Yorkshire Terrier is “ideally four to seven pounds.” Even professionals dog handlers who show Yorkies for a living prefer their dogs around five or six pounds, so smaller isn’t better.  The Maltese breed standards are a tiny bit heavier – the ideal specimen weighs in at about 5 to 8 pounds.

When dogs are too small – under four pounds – owners face at least five serious problems including:

  1. feeding – very sensitive stomach, plus tooth problems – too many in a small mouth
  2. house-training – very, very tiny bladders so don’t expect much when it comes to being potty-trained
  3. organs are often underdeveloped and can suddenly fail
  4. sudden low blood sugar that can lead to shock and even death!
  5. One of the big concerns in a super small dog is just how delicate the dog is. Their bones are VERY fragile and can be broken by jumping off of a couch, falling off of a bed, being stepped on or worse.  They’re not for children of course because of their fragility.

Besides their size, are Teacups different than the ‘regular’ or ‘standard size’ version of the breed?

Breeding runts to runtsyawning tiny morkie copy

No — “teacups,” “teenies” and “baby-dolls” are just cutesy labels for Yorkshire Terriers that are far too small. Puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders are “miniaturizing” popular toy breeds and using these adjectives to make them sound even more adorable. Meanwhile they’re selling genetic misfits, fragile dogs who will probably have lifelong health problems.

Toy dogs under 4 pounds are at risk for the diseases above, but can also have a very short lifespan.  Sometimes they live only 5 or 6 years.

 Want to read the 7 Things You Must Know Before You Get a Morkie!

7thingscover_flatGet your FREE downloadable report – 7 Things You Must Know Before You Get a Morkie!

No obligation, no strings attached.  Just 19 pages of solid information about the adorable combination of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese dog – the Morkie!

Add to Cart

(Although this says “add to cart, there is absolutley NO CHARGE)

Dogs That Don’t Shed: Fact or Fiction?

Dogs That Don’t Shed: Fact or Fiction?

Besides Morkies, there are a number of dog breeds that are billed as non-shedding including the President’s dog “Bo,” a Portuguese Water Dog. But is the non-shedding dog fact or fiction?

Fiction: all dogs and cats shed. We do too! Shedding is part of the natural process of hair growth – each hair starts from a follicle, which grows, dies and is then replaced by another follicle. When the follicle dies, the hair drops or “moults.” The length of time of the growing and shedding cycle is different by breed, age of the dog and whether he lives inside or outside. However all dogs do shed – although some breeds shed significantly less than others.

To say that these “non-shedding” or low-shedding breeds are hypo-allergenic is another myth since hair or fur isn’t the only trigger for allergies. People can also be allergic to the dog’s dander, saliva and even its urine!


Havanese are double-coated, non shedding dogs.

baby tinker on pink blanket

Yorkies are single coated, non shedding dogs.

That said, there are breeds that are easier on allergies and housework. These include both single-coated (“hair”) and double-coated (“fur”) breeds.

 It’s complicated!

There are single coated dogs — one coat of hair that’s more like ours – that shed and those that don’t shed.

Then there are double-coated dogs – larger, coarse guard hairs over soft fluffly undercoat – that do NOT shed.

Here’s a quick run down of the low-shedding or hypoallergenic breeds in both categories.

Single-coated, low-shedding dog breeds

  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Coton De Tulear
  • Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Portuguese Water Dog

Double-coated low-shedding dog breeds

  • Shih Tzu
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Bichon Frise
  • Schnauzer
  • Havanese
  • West Highland White Terrier

So that means the MORKIE is a very ‘low shedding’ or no-shedding dog, since both the Maltese and Yorkie are.

There’s always the hairless dog!


The Chinese Crested is mostly hairless.

These exotic breeds have very little or no hair at all. In fact  just  its feet, head and tail have hair. That means they’re always clean and don’t attract fleas. However they can be fragile to care for, since fur is natural protection against the environment.

The best-known hairless breed is probably the Hairless Chinese Crested, an odd little dog with a single tuft of hair on its head.

There’s another version of Chinese Crested called the Powderpuff.  It has a full coat of hair, along with the crest on its head. Both are recognized by Kennel Clubs.

And, the BEST low-shedding dog….

pinky morkie

The Morkie 🙂

Next: best combs and brushes for your Morkie

Are Morkies healthy dogs?

Are Morkies healthy dogs?

In a word, the answer is YES! Morkies and generally healthier than most breeds and can live longer!

tiny morkie puppy on pink maribou

This Morkie pup has a long life ahead of him.

Although there are dozens and dozens of factors at play when it comes to predicting the length of your dog’s life,  a recent study indicates that MIXED BREED dogs like the Morkie, are among the Top 10 Healthiest Dog Breeds.

Writer Jessica Remitz of writes that mixed breeds benefit from a lower degree of inbreeding. Plus, they have a lower likelihood of developing one of the common inherited diseases that shorten dogs’ lives. That’s good news for Morkies and their owners.

According to Ms. Remitz, some of these genetically-bases killers include:

  • heart disease – there are two main types, congenital heart defects that the dog may have at birth and acquired heart disease from ‘wear and tear’
  • musculoskeletal problems – muscle and joint problems like hip dysplasia and arthritis
  • allergic skin disease – these problems are very common

    The autoimmune skin disease “Pemphigus foliates” and resultant skin eruptions on this poor dog’s belly.

    among dogs, and may be the result of a food allergy, nutritional deficiency or overactivity of immune responses.  That last one – autoimmune disease – is very hard on animals (and people!)

  • hyperthyroidism – relatively rare, this occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, which can lead to very serious metabolic problems such as a very high heart rate, diarrhea, excessive thirst and frequent urination.

So how long WILL my Morkie live?

Generally, small dogs live longer.  Now we know mixed breeds tend to live longer.  Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs are renowned for long lives.  So in an ideal world, your Morkie could easily live to 14, 15 and  even 16 years of age.

Learn more about the care of YOUR Morkie in The Morkie Mega Guide … your mega guide to raising a happy, healthy Morkie.  This downloadable e-book is packed with 300+ pages of helpful information, charts, pictures and checklists.

Zoonoses and you

Zoonoses and you


Zoonoses is scientific term for infectious diseases passed from animals to humans, or humans to animals (called reverse zoonoses).

This includes diseases that are caused by zoonoticsbacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Depending on the disease, zoonoses can be spread in a number of different ways – from bites, contact with urine, feces or saliva or even simply airborne.  Some can cause only mild illness, while others, like rabies, can be fatal. But don’t be alarmed – you’re more likely to get most of these illnesses from raw or undercooked food.

So just what CAN you catch from your Morkie?

The most common illnesses that MIGHT be passed from your dog to you and your family are: Roundworms

  • roundworms are not common in North America but do infect about 1
    roundworms cross section

    you do not want to see this

    in 4 people in developing countries

  • dogs (especially puppies) and cats shed roundworm eggs in their feces. You or your children can become infected by accidentally swallowing dirt that has been contaminated with dog or cat feces that contain the infectious eggs, and the cycle begins
  • symptoms include fever, fatigue, coughing, wheezing, or abdominal pain

Animal hookworm

  • there are lots of different kinds of hookworm – one in particular can be passed from animals to people called animal hookworm 
  • people don’t get infected directly from animals; instead
    ringworm on dog

    Here’s how animal ringworm – a fungus – looks on human skin.

    they walk barefoot on ground surfaces that have been contaminated by dog feces (a good reason to ALWAYS wear shoes or sandals outside)

  • puppies and kittens often carry the larvae and it’s easily picked up by barefoot children
  • what happens is the larvae of this hookworm penetrates the skin and causes red, itchy raised rings on the skin
  • it can also be accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhoea


  • although it’s POSSIBLE to get this serious poisoning from dogs, it’s mostly passed to humans via reptiles, mice and rats, and more commonly picked up by people from food sources like raw meat and raw eggs
  • dogs can carry salmonella germs and not be affected themselves; instead, they simply expel the germs when they poop (another reason to wash, wash, wash after caring for your dog)

Ringworm Which isn’t a worm by the way — it’s a fungal infection

  • ringworm is contagious and very easily passed from one individual to another 
  • many species of animals are susceptible to ringworm, including both dogs and cats
  • people can become infected infected with ringworm through contact with infected pets; however, they can also become infected through contact with other infected people and through contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

What diseases and illnesses are NOT from your dog?

Pinworms – Pinworms are a common problem for people, particularly for children. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pinworms are the most common worm infection in the United States and throughout many parts of the world. There’s often confusion about how people get pinworms: only humans can transmit this type of infection.

The 3-step solution? Hygiene, common sense and keeping an eye on your dog


  • good hand washing goes a long way in deterring these zoonoses
  • keep your dog clean as well – regular bathing and combing helps and it also lets you check on the condition of his skin and coat, often leading indicators of illness in dogs
  • clean up dog poop and urine right away
  • wash your dog’s bedding regularly
  • keep water and food dishes clean, and separate for each pet

Common sense

  • get your pets wormed regularly and consider heart worm medication
  • make sure they have veterinarian check ups at least annually
  • feed your dog a quality diet
  • infants, the elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system, should be extra vigilant about exposing themselves to dangers

Watch your dog

  • keep an eye on your dog:  don’t allow him to eat garbage, dead animals or birds or hang out at bird feeders (birds can a number of zoonoses)
  • beware of pet food recalls – especially pet snacks like jerky treats. They are often recalled because of salmonella dangers (visit for regular updates)
  • don’t let your dog eat poop or drink out of the toilet (which would be quite a feat for a Morkie!)

Read more

You can read about all 14 possible diseases and infections you can get from your pets (zoonoses) here at  Check out for more details.

“Free Morkie” Scam

“Free Morkie” Scam

free morkie scamIt’s very sad that even someone who wants to buy a puppy, can be victims of scams and greed.

If you’re looking for a Morkie, that magical blend of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese dog, the search can be challenging. You want to avoid puppy mill dogs and unscrupulous breeds, and now there’s a whole new level of greed: the free puppy scam.

The more you’re aware of these despicable tactics, the better your chances of avoiding the free Morkie scam.

Four types of scams

Switching pictures

The first trick these people will do is feature gorgeous-looking little dogs on their website for sale. Should you actually buy one, you’ll notice that your puppy looks nothing like those you saw. That’s because the scammer has stolen pictures from the website and even books and portrayed these as the dogs he is selling.



Meanwhile your little dog has been bred and raised in the cruel conditions of a puppy mills, where animals are bred and bred for profit, with no regard to their comfort or safety. Imagine a dog spending her entire life in a tiny wire cage, having litters two or three times a year until she dies!

You can avoid this scam by visiting the prospective member of your family in person. Look around and ask lots of questions.  If the person you’re buying from can’t answer them, seems vague and there is no sign of the Yorkie or Maltese parent around, chances are good you’re dealing with a puppy mill.

Registered and ‘approved’ dogs

Anyone can claim their puppies have been registered, implying they are high quality healthy specimens.  Even crosses like the Morkie can be offered with designations from The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and International Designer Canine Registry® (IDCR).

Unfortunately, The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and International Designer Canine Registry® (IDCR) aren’t recognized by anyone in the animal world and they don’t even check the dogs they ‘certify.’  Once again, you get a very inferior animal for the price of a show dog.  These designations mean nothing!

 Free to good home, or super cheap Morkies

This one really hurts, because in all likelihood there isn’t even a Morkie behind this offer.

Instead, the scammers lure you in on price, and when the hook has been set they ask you to pay for shipping, which is suspiciously consistent at $400.  Buyers are asked to send all payments via a Western Union wire transfer or money order. These methods are favorites among scam artists because they are the equivalent of sending cash—the money can’t be recovered by the victim.

3 morkie puppies in laundry basket

Puppies in a basket, free-to-a-good-home?

Since you don’t suspect them, you send the money off – usually to another country, and the dog of course never arrives.

The ASPCA has identified another despicable scam.  Sellers put up a website featuring terrible pictures of animal abuse, and claim they are rescuing dogs from a puppy mill.  There’s no rescue; they ARE the puppy mill and the dogs are sickly, weak and nervous.  Instead of doing a good thing by helping dogs, you end up with heartbreak on your  hands.

You can tell this is a scam when you see the price tag — the “adoption fees” for these dogs often exceed $1,000! Breed rescue groups charge nominal fees—usually no more than a few hundred dollars—because their goal is not to make money, but to find wonderful homes for their rescues.

Avoid being scammed

  • Be sure to deal directly with a breeder, not a broker.
  • Always visit. Honest breeders and rescue groups will be more than happy to offer you a tour.
  • Always pick your puppy up at the kennel or breeder. Do not have the puppy shipped or meet at a random location. If the seller suggests meeting at a mall or parking lot – run!
  • Always ask for references, from others who have purchased dogs from this breeder and follow up on them.
  • Ask for a reference from the veterinarian the breeder works with as well.
  • Never send Western Union or money order payments.
  • If you are told that there will be no refunds for a sick puppy, you are most probably dealing with a puppy mill. A reputable breeder or rescue group will always take the puppy back, regardless of the reason.

Armed with some knowledge, you can avoid being scammed in your search for the perfect little dog, the Morkie.

Read more: ASPCA’s stories about pet-related scams

Looking for a dog or cat?  Adopt safely and ethically on Pet Finder.

The sad story of discarded Christmas pups

The sad story of discarded Christmas pups


Precious Pets is just one shelter that’s over run with discarded Christmas puppies, and it’s only January 9th!

It’s January 9th and one New York shelter that specializes in small dog rescue already has 32 discarded Chihuahuas among other breeds.  These dogs were Christmas gifts and the owners have already become bored with their “gifts.”  Because celebs and the Taco Bell dog have made breeds like Chihuahuas so popular, they’re now the second-most euthanized dog in America.

Dogster reports that Precious Pups –  a registered charity and no kill shelter was already quite full before this Christmas rush.  Founder Laura Zambito says “We rescue our dogs from municipal animal shelters, off euthanasia lists and we accept owner surrenders and the occasional stray. We provide a safe haven for them, we nurture their spirits and heal their souls. We rely solely on donations to keep our dogs safe, happy and comfortable until we find them a forever home.”

As points out, Christmas Puppies Are a Very Bad Idea.  And even though many reputable breeders and even shelters won’t release a dog in time for Christmas, this sad story plays out far too many times.

People who pick a breed because it’s popular are under-informed and naive.  The Chihuahua for example, is known to be a warm weather dog, is not a family dog and can be territorial and bark a lot.

Should a pet ever be a gift?

As a recipient of two ‘surprise’ dogs over the years, I say NO!  And I’m an adult who loves dogs and has always owned dogs.  So I can just imagine a pre-teen for example, who gets their dream puppy, only to move on to another distraction a couple of weeks later.

Money for clothes for the dog, but not an ID tag!

Laura Zambito shows off Vanilla, who came into the shelter with a dress and mammary tumours. Credit:

Dogster reports that one of the dogs that Zambito shows off is a Chihuahua named Vanilla, who was found wandering the streets wearing a little dress, but with no ID that could be used to return her to her owners.

That’s symbolic of the problems of owners who casually decide to get a dog: There’s money for the cute, frilly dress, but not for tags or a microchip.  And apparently no money for a Vet either because this little dog had mammary tumours as well.

To learn more about these dogs, or others looking for their forever homes, please visit Precious Pups, or check out PetFinder — the #1 site for adoptable pets or Petango.  Both these sites gather information from local shelters and humane societies across North America, so finding a new pet near you is easy.

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month!

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month!

The ASPCA and other animal associations are celebrating shelter dogs this month — and it’s easy to see why when you read about some of the success stories… like Jane, adopted in New York a year ago:

“February was the one-year anniversary of the morning I saw Jane’s face on Petfinder and brought her home four hours later from the ASPCA Adoption Center. I never imagined myself with a points card at a pet store, having to slap my own hand to stop me buying another dog sweater, chew toy, grooming tool or accessory—but that’s me now. 


Here’s a great read:  10 Compelling Reasons to add a shelter dog to your life.… on


Where to find a Morkie for adoption:rescue-morkie


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