A Langley family drove to the city’s airport expecting to finally meet their newest family member – a miniature dachshund named Ken. When they arrived to find no puppy, the kids were heartbroken.
Ken, it turns out, does not even exist. The parents had been duped by an elaborate pet scam, according to a CTV News story posted on Wednesday.
Crystal King and her husband told CTV News they decided to get a dog for their two young children: four-year-old Cole and eight-year-old April. The couple decided to purchase the pup from a website called Furever Home Mini Dachshund.
They paid $600 for the dachshund, $150 to a shipping company called Global Pet Express along with $960 for “refundable insurance.”
The parents kept the new dog a secret until the morning Ken was supposed to arrive. When they broke the news, the kids were overjoyed and the family travelled to Abbotsford International Airport with a brand new collar for the puppy.
When Ken was nowhere to be found, King messaged the shipper online and was told the puppy was being held because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The shipper asked for another $866 e-transfer to get the puppy released.
King and her husband immediately became suspicious and cancelled the $960 e-transfer they had sent for insurance. But the family still faced a loss of $750, $200 in pet supplies and a terrible family memory.
The Kings are not the only ones who have recently been fooled by pet scams. Over 6,000 failed online pet purchases were reported last year, according to a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C.
The bureau recommends that pet buyers see the puppy in person or meet the seller first, use caution when sending e-transfers to companies you’re not familiar with, and use Petscams.com to look at other reported scams.
Since the scam, the Kings have recently adopted a real dog from Kelowna, named Hudson. They made sure to meet the breeder before sending any money.