Dear PoPville – Anyone Else Been Approached on the Street By Guys Selling Dogs?

Photo by PoPville flickr user washingtonydc

“Dear PoPville,

Recently I was approached on the street by young men presumably selling dogs, one near Capitol Hill and on the same day near Logan Circle. One even stood on the corner subtly advertising with a very cute puppy in his hand. I’m not a dog person, so I don’t know the breed, but this definitely was no street mutt. It was very clean and very well groomed. Even the pitch of the two guys was similar (something odd like “You need a dog?”) I initially thought “dog” might have been street code language for some new drug, but the first guy persisted and explained that, yes, he meant pet dogs. Just wondering if other have been approached. Perhaps it’s just an innocent hustle and a coincidence that two guys approached me on the same day… or is there some kind of dog selling ring in DC now?”

39 Comment

  • OMG I love these puppies! I saved them from the first time they were posted on the site and look at them if I’m having a bad day. I would totally be suckered into buying one if someone asked.

    But, no one has asked…

  • Often people steal purebred puppies and sell them for drugs.
    A friend has purchased puppies in a similar situation and then worked with a rescue to find the owners/place them.
    I would report these guys to the authorities next time you see them.

  • I’ve seen posts on the Capitol Hill listervs about men selling dogs on the street. The people that saw them were suspicious that the dogs had been stolen, but it sounded like the police didn’t have enough cause to investigate.

  • Do not buy from these guys!!! People selling puppies like this are generally supplied by puppy mills. If you want a dog, go to your local shelter or at least a responsible breeder. No matter what these guys say, their business and their supplier is not on the up and up if they’re selling dogs on a street corner. Not only does buying these dogs support abusive breeding practices but you are also likely to get a dog that has a number of health problems and socialization problems. They are taken away from their mothers too soon and they’re often the result of over breeding that leads to genetic defects.

  • I’m a regular at Lincoln Park and I was recently approached by two men selling a rottweiler/ikeda puppy. I love big dogs but having two 100+ pound dogs in my english basement apartment just can’t happen right now.

  • A couple of years ago I was similarly approached by a guy selling puppies in North Columbia Heights. It was repressively hot out and it didn’t look like the puppies were too happy or being well hydrated. As soon as I got home I made some calls. I think I called 311 first and was directed to animal control or the Humane Society (I don’t remember which), but someone on patrol responded and went looking for the puppies and their seller. The patrol person even called me back with updates, but only to tell me he couldn’t find them. I would report this again if I saw it. I don’t see how selling animals on the street (presumably without a license to do so) is legal!

  • look folks… people that sell shit on the street are typically bad news. for fucks sake… just call the police. remember – “if you can’t spot the sucker at the poker table, it’s probably you”.

  • You should definitely report this to the Washington Humane Society. It is highly likely the dogs were stolen or these guys are actually breeding dogs and the parents are mistreated. This is their humane law enforcement number: 202-723-5730

    I think this should go without saying, but NEVER EVER purchase a dog from some guy off the street. Report them as quickly as possible.

  • Most of these dogs are likely to not have had any shots, spay/neuter or vet care. Taking care of those items alone will cost you a lot more money at the vet’s office. They will need a full regimen and possibly de-worming. Buying a dog on the spot like this is the same as buying a set of speakers in a mall parking lot. Much better to adopt a dog from the humane society, this is where these dogs will most likely end up anyway, and at least you’ll have a bit of insurance through the vet care and neutering that the Humane Society provides in ensuring your dog lives a long life.

  • If these guys selling the dogs are starting a conversation, why not ask where the dogs came from? Who knows, they may give a real answer.

  • Please PLEASE report this to the Washington Humane Society. In circumstances like these, the animals are very likely victims of a neglect situation.

    I believe that the District requires “commercial breeders” (which these jokers no doubt qualify as if they’re breeding very many dogs) to be licensed and meet certain requirements (veterinary care, sanitary requirements). I’d be willing to be almost anything that these people are NOT complying with these requirements and can be shut down.

  • Pugs not drugs

  • The real problem is what the guys do with the dogs when they’re note selling them on the street. Are they taking care of them, feeding them properly, etc, etc, etc? Where are they keeping these dogs? Get the dogs off the streets and out of the hands of these criminals. Call the Humane Society. Keep the guys engaged until the authorities come. Offer to buy the dogs, tell them you’re going to get money, then call the police. This is crazy.

  • Actually, yeah – yesterday on Barracks Row around 5pm, there was a guy with dreadlocks in a silver Acura Integra with DC tags who had two tan and white pit-lab mixes, both female, that he was trying to sell for $300 each out of the back of the hatchback he’d pulled into an alley just off the sidewalk. I thought it was super sketchy – neither dog looked particularly healthy. They had trouble walking when he put them down (like their hips just weren’t working correctly), and they both had pretty bad bloat – their stomachs were quite distended – which is often a sign of parasites or worms. I thought about it for a minute and decided I probably ought to go back and get a picture of the guy with one of the dogs and his tag number, but by the time I got back there he was gone. Now I’m kicking myself for not getting his info so I could report him.

    • *Please* call WHS anyway and provide this description and location and any other information you might have! He will likely return to the area. . . WHS Cruelty Line is 202-234-8626.

  • Call the police, call the humane society, call anybody. If you questioned whether or not they were selling drugs when they approached you, in all likelihood they’re not better breeders (in my opinion no breeder is a good breeder), and to these guys, these dogs = overhead. If they can’t sell them they’re going to get rid of them somehow.

  • Apparently there are “animal flippers” who try to get animals cheaply or for free on Craigslist and then resell them. I’d heard only of reselling on Craigslist, but somehow ShawGuy’s story made me think that it might be a reselling-type situation too.

    Looking at the Craigslist pets section can be thoroughly demoralizing. Although Craigslist says it doesn’t allow people to sell animals, only to “rehome them with a small “rehoming fee,” it relies on the community to police itself. As a result, backyard breeders are always trying to sell their animals there.

    I think the “designer dogs” phenomenon has perhaps worsened the problem of backyard breeders — it used to be that people couldn’t sell puppies for anything more than a nominal cost unless they were purebreds. Now backyard breeders try to sell mixed-breed dogs as well as purebreds, and people with unspayed female dogs think they can make money off the puppies that result.

  • I guess the possibility that these people might be selling puppies that actually belong to them is too crazy to consider.
    If I was a local who watched how dogcentric this town had become and my dog had puppies and I could use the extra cash, I would probably try to sell the puppies as opposed to giving them to a shelter.

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