Spokane woman warns of buying pets online


A family dealing with the loss of their beloved dog is hit hard once again. They say they paid for a dog that was going to be shipped to them, but now they’re out $550 and they don’t have a new puppy either.

Armelle O’Conner’s still coming to grips with the fact that her beloved bulldog Pixa is gone.

“We called her Pixappotamous because from the back she looked like a little hippo walking around,” she says.

Pixa passed away on Easter and was buried in Armelle’s flower garden. Armelle’s been feeling her absence.

“She was my life,” she says. “She used to love flower. I don’t know if I’ll have another one, but I can’t imagine having any other dog. I miss her so much.”

Her husband wanted to help her with her grief, so he got online and they found a female bulldog puppy. Armelle was even had a name ready for this new addition to their family.

But after paying $550, she says they got an email from the shipping company saying they needed to pay another $900 for pet insurance. Panicked, she called the puppy’s seller and he told her he’d split the cost with her. All she had to do was wire another $450 to him, and they’d be refunded the money once the puppy arrived at her doorstep. But that’s when Armelle told a friend, and she found out something was a little off. So, she says she called the seller asking for their money back, but soon, that phone number for the seller didn’t work.

“He hung up on my husband and ever since then the phone's been disconnected,” she says.

KHQ’s Katie Chen tried calling that same number and someone did pick up. The man on the other side said he had to look up a few things and call back. KHQ tried calling again an hour later and got a message saying the number wasn’t working.

If you’re looking at puppies to purchase online, there are a few red flags to look out for. The best way to avoid this kind of situation is to deal with local sellers or get a dog from the local shelter.

Armelle just hopes others can learn from what happened to her and avoid the same heartache.

For more information: http://www.nclnet.org/puppy_scams

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