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Rooney Mara Video Highlights Online Puppy Scams

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Actress Rooney Mara, who has portrayed both heroic characters and villains on the big screen, is using her voice to warn potential pet parents to beware online scammers who portray themselves as an ethical individual or breeder, when in fact it is all an act. 

Online Puppy Scams

Behind the photo posted of the adorable dog who needs a forever home lies a sinister reality.

Narrating a video for a new Animal Legal Defense Legislative Fund campaign, the Academy Award-nominated star reveals that close to 80 percent of all online puppy sales are fraudulent

There is no puppy for sale. 

The photo of what a potential pet parent thought would be their new furry family member was nothing but a ploy, used to take an unsuspecting person’s money.  

Online Puppy Mills

Sadly, the tale of the remaining 20 percent is much worse, with purchased puppies coming from cramped, squalid puppy mills. Taken from their mother, a dog who is forced to breed throughout her adult life before being abandoned or killed once her usefulness has come to an end, the puppies often endure long journeys to their destination without adequate food or water.

Arriving by unregulated courier, the person who bought the pup online frequently finds that the dog is dehydrated, ill…and not the dog in the photo which had prompted the purchase.     

“Whether selling sick puppies or fraudulently advertising animals that may not even exist, criminals scamming online are completely focused on making a profit without regard for the wellbeing of animals,” says Animal Legal Defense Legislative Fund Executive Director Kim Kelly. “Purchasing animals online should be avoided at all costs regardless of how repudiable the seller appears.”

“The holiday season has always been a popular time for puppy scammers,” Rooney Mara states. “With local animal shelters and rescue groups overflowing with adoptable animals of all ages and breeds, I hope families who are interested in welcoming an animal companion to seek out their local shelters and never ever buy someone online.”

The Mara Sisters Help Animals in Need

Compassion runs in the Mara family. Earlier in 2023, Rooney’s sister, actress Kate Mara, also joined forces with Animal Legal Defense Fund to cover the adoption fees for 10 dogs, previously from the Fulton County Animal Shelter, who had graduated from an alternative sentencing program run by Canine CellMates.

“My family and I spent several months living in Atlanta as I was filming FX’s upcoming Class of ‘09. Its humane community is one of the best in the country; constantly seeking innovative ways to create opportunities for people to experience the unconditional love of an animal,” says Kate Mara.

“We are so grateful to Ms. Mara for her support of our Canine CellMates program and her concern for the well-being of the dogs who play such an important role in helping people transform their lives. While the Canine CellMates leadership works to secure a permanent home for the program, we are glad to know that these dogs will be placed in permanent homes through Ms. Mara’s financial support of their adoption,” says Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

 The program, which launched back in 2013, pairs adoptable shelter dogs with inmates inside the Fulton County Jail.  Over the course of a 10-week period both the canine who needs a forever home and the incarcerated person learn skills that will be beneficial as they embark on new chapters in their lives.  

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