The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud – Advice from the CEO of Paw Print Genetics

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud – Advice from the CEO of Paw Print Genetics

It amazes me that some people would rather risk getting caught than do the right thing. In just the first six months of 2017, we have had three instances of fraud in which a breeder has supplied the puppy buyer with fraudulent documents bearing the Paw Print Genetics (PPG) logo.  In each case, the fraudulent documents were concocted in different ways but when presented to us, we could immediately see that they were not authentic.

Our team has spent considerable time in trying to address the issue of fraud and how to protect PPG. But more important to us is, how do our customers or future customers protect themselves? What should you ask for when buying a pup or considering breeding with another’s dog? How can you tell if the documents given to you are legitimate?

I am not going to show you how these documents were altered, as we do not want to give unethical people ideas about how to create such documents. Rather, it is important that you follow these simple rules when seeking information on a dog or pup that you may purchase or breed.

  1. Only accept complete, original documents. Do not accept written statements, summaries, website postings, or emails in place of original documentation for genetic test results from any laboratory even if the breeder is supposedly experienced and reputable.  
  2. Do not accept any document that has been altered in any way. Do not accept partial reports, cropped images, or reports with obscured or blackened information. There is no acceptable reason for a breeder to hide any information on a PPG report or certificate.
  3. Do not accept a copy. Copies may indicate that the original document was altered. All PPG customers have access to their reports and certificates in their secure, online account. When printed, they should be blue and black on a white background.
  4. Do not accept any report or certificate from a third party. The report should list the breeder that you are buying the puppy from or the breeder who owns the dog that you want to use in your breeding program.  If the breeder is presenting a report to you that does not have their name on it, then you cannot assume that it is authentic. PPG’s Canine Genetic Health Certificates do not have the breeder’s name listed. Therefore, the best document to request is the PPG Laboratory Report.
  5. Always double check that the documents that you have been provided are legitimate by either (a) scanning and sending the documents to PPG for authentication prior to purchasing the puppy or agreeing to breed with the dog or (b) going to Paw Print Pedigrees and looking up the breeder and the dog to confirm the results.
  6. If the dog or breeder is not on Paw Print Pedigrees, ask why. There is no cost to the breeder for listing their kennel or their PPG tested dogs and they can control the information that they post. Breeders should welcome the opportunity to show off their PPG tested dogs. Breeders can also post their results temporarily for a short period of time to allow verification of testing.

Please keep in mind that when a breeder uses PPG, they are agreeing to the following statement when they place their order:

I have read the Paw Print Genetics Terms of Use. I represent and warrant that: (a) all information provided about each dog, including the name and breed of the dog, is truthful and accurate; (b) the sample that will be submitted corresponds to the dog to be tested as indicated by the information provided and found on this order; (c) additional samples may be required to complete this test; (d) I will cooperate to help resolve any disputed results as stated in the Paw Print Genetics Quality Assurance Policy. Paw Print Genetics reserves the right to use the DNA extracted from your sample at the discretion of Paw Print Genetics in cases of, but not limited to, disputed results, client misconduct, or suspected fraud.

Unfortunately, the cases of suspected fraud that we have encountered this year are not limited to just altered reports and certificates.  It is very unfortunate but some breeders have apprarently, intentionally swabbed the wrong dog to pass it off as another, presumably clear dog.  Please keep in mind that PPG reserves the right to investigate suspected fraud, including but not limited to running parentage testing on samples received, which include sex markers to determine if the sex of the sample received correlates with the dog that was supposedly swabbed.

At Paw Print Genetics, we take your personal information very seriously and this includes the genetic results of your dogs and we try our very best to protect your privacy.  Although there are no privacy laws governing dogs and their genetic information, we have implemented the following procedures to try to protect your information as much as possible.  We have a strict internal privacy policy that instructs our employees on how personal information collected on our website or obtained through testing of your dogs is handled. This information belongs to the person who ordered and paid for the test. The dog’s laboratory results can only be communicated to the person who ordered the test. In most cases it is the owner or breeder. In other cases, it may be a veterinarian. When a person calls our laboratory and wants to discuss a dog's result, we first verify that it is the individual that ordered the test. If it is not the individual that ordered the test, we require permission from the original customer and may require a medical release form to be signed by that original customer, releasing the information to the third party.  It’s that simple. We will not release your dog’s information to a third party without your consent.

However, although our privacy policy is aimed at restricting us from disclosing your information on your dog to another party, the law provides that PPG owns the results of any testing generated by us and the DNA extracted from samples received by PPG for analysis.  Thus, Paw Print Genetics reserves the right to use the DNA extracted from your sample at our discretion in cases of, but not limited to, disputed results, client misconduct, or suspected fraud and reserves the right to discuss the results with all parties involved.

In short, if you provide us a document for authentication, our privacy policy allows us to provide you with a single answer; YES, the document is legitimate or NO, the document looks altered. If the document appears altered, we also reserve the right to then contact the breeder who provided you the document to investigate the situation. It is unfortunate that in some cases that cannot be resolved to our satisfaction or to that of the puppy buyer, the breeder’s account may be suspended and we reserve the right to take legal action to prevent further use of our name and trademarks by the breeder.  This may seem rather harsh, but our purpose is to provide genetic information to allow breeders to produce healthier puppies and if our name is being used to misrepresent results and the health of a dog, then we must take appropriate action for the sake of the dogs and to protect your investment as the breeder.

What can you do to help prevent fraud?  Always provide your puppy buyers with an original report, printed from the PPG website. Use Clear by Parentage certificates to document that your pups are clear of certain genetic diseases. And whenever possible, take advantage of our Veterinary Verified reporting to establish a higher level of certainty to your puppy buyers that the dogs were verified prior to sample collection.

Victims of fraud do not only include the buyers. Breeders can be falsely accused of fraud if they obtained unverified reports when they purchased a dog for their breeding program and supplied those fraudulent reports to their puppy buyers.  We need to work together to uncover and prevent fraud.  If you have any questions about this blog or suspect that you have been a victim of fraud, please contact me at


  • Helen Johnstone on 08/23/2017 5:03 p.m. #

    Just one more great reason I will continue to use your services for my dogs! My transparency with puppy buyers and other breeders alike is an absolute must and I can get up every morning and look at this face in the mirror! Thanks Paw Print Genetics.

  • Risa Krantz on 08/26/2017 11:11 a.m. #

    Thank you for this article on fraud. It never occurs to me to be fraudulent about my dogs or puppies. I see now where people could swab a dog and send info on another one they know to be clear. I just cannot imagine how anyone can do that on purpose and with a clear conscience. Well, I suppose the do not have a conscience. With 100% confidence, I use PPG for all of my disease testing and I appreciate the personal and professional service you offer.

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