A puppy broker is nothing more than a middleman, a person who buys animals from other sources and resells them. Brokers typically buy puppies or litters lots of puppies from puppy mills, backyard breeders or other dealers, for as little as $10 a puppy or $50 for a litter, and may charge hundreds of dollars or more for individual animals. The majority of brokers operating in NJ buy puppies from Pennsylvania and Ohio Amish and Mennonite puppy millers. Many of these puppy millers operate just like their broker buddies, underground and illegally.

Posing as breeders, many brokers perpetrate the ultimate scam on unsuspecting buyers who think they are dealing with reputable breeders. When not pulling unwanted free puppies from out-of-state shelters and pounds, these "rescue brokers" troll Craigslist or classifieds looking for free or cheap dogs. "Free to good home" ads are like found money for these shysters.

New Jersey has several dozen brokers operating in all twenty-one counties. A significant number of brokers advertise on and
Some of the brokers we are aware of are former animal control officers, illegal pet shop brokers, and individuals posing as rescuers!

These dealers are slick, sleazy and proficient liars, telling you what you want to hear. They will claim that they don't buy from puppy mills or other dealers.

Common Red Flags That Indicate the Seller is Actually a Broker:
  • Seller uses several aliases and/or cell phone numbers to avoid detection
  • Seller is willing to sell you a puppy with no questions asked
  • These are cash only sales
  • They will offer to deliver the puppy to you for a small fee; they will never let anyone on their property
  • No health guarantee or option to return the puppy should something go wrong
  • They sell many different breeds and/or have litters available every week
  • Look out for statements like "I am selling the puppies for my friend or relative"
  • They will pull on your heartstrings saying things like "If we can't sell the puppies we will have to put them down"
  • There are no puppy parents (sire and dam) on site and will use lame excuses (i.e. the "mother is resting") to explain why
  • The puppies, mother dog, and/or facility smell strongly of urine and/or feces
  • The puppies are nervous, cowering or even aggressive – these are all signs of lack of socialization