Two North Texas women went to two different websites hoping to find a furry friend, found exactly what they were looking for but ended up with nothing in the end.
Melissa Bailey is one busy lady. She's a wife, adoptive mother and a pet lover who has rescued pets in the past. While her husband was in the hospital, she thought of the perfect gift to cheer him up.
"I was looking online, looking in the shelters first because I knew he wanted a Yorkie," she said.
Bailey came across braveyorkies.com through a Google search and instantly fell in love with two Yorkies. For $800, she was told the two puppies in Utah would be shipped to North Texas.
"He said, 'Well here's what you can do. You can go to a Wal-Mart and you can send the money that way,'" she said.
Despite some hesitation, Bailey used Walmart2Walmart money transfer to send the $800. The company confirmed it went through.
"They sent me an email stating that the vet claimed the dogs were too little to travel without shipping insurance," she said. "They asked for an additional $2,000 to ship the dogs. I started to and Western Union told me that there was a scam going on in that area."
A scam that has left other pet lovers in North Texas empty handed. Mary Reynoso thought she was going to own a Shih Tzu she came across through a Google search on Arona Pet Express' website.
Like Bailey, Reynoso was warned by Western Union that it could be a scam but she decided to go ahead and pay $1,355.50 for the dog. And, just like Bailey, no puppy, no refund and no response from the company.
"It really is heart-wrenching to find out that you're not gonna get the puppies that you paid for," Bailey said.
Both websites have since been taken down. We tried emailing the folks behind this and we haven't gotten a response.
As a consumer, you should never put cash in the hands of people you don't know and can easily disappear. So here's what you should remember:
- Do not wire money or send a check to a stranger or random company that you find online.
- If you're looking for a pet and don't want to spend a lot of money, visit a local animal shelter. The adoption fees usually aren't that expensive.
- If the shelters don't have the breed you're looking for, try to find a reputable pet rescue.