PETspot is a new website for potential puppy owners to identify legitimate breeders and weed out scammers.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), there have been 2,544 reports of pet scams with losses over $3 million this year, as of September 2021, compared to 498 complaints in 2019.

This is largely due to the massive uptick in people looking for a pet over COVID, a trend that PETspot co-founder Nick Figliano identified and sought to solve with this new company.

Figliano recognised the opportunity in the market when he nearly fell victim to a scam breeder himself.

“I realised I was dealing with a scammer before I handed over any money, but many others aren’t so lucky. The industry is purely cash-based and there was no payment system that covers you for pet scams — until now. That’s where PETspot comes in, providing a secure way to pay for a dog or puppy and linking buyers directly with responsible sources. We’ve created Australia’s first payment system that is built specifically for pets.”

The platform provides a space where potential pet owners can contact independently verified breeders, allowing them comfort and peace of mind when purchasing a pet.

PETspot’s verification includes requiring dog breeders proof of registration with regulatory bodies, showing health tests of the litter of puppies, and an identity check.

“We’re confident in providing consumers with a guarantee of the safety of their transaction because of the rigorous checks and balances we have in place before a breeder is allowed to list themselves on our website,” said Figliano.

There are currently over 200 authenticated breeders using the website and $3 million worth of dogs and puppies have found a home through the platform.