A Dog-Gone Scam - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/1/07

A Dog-Gone Scam

Ten-year-old Jessica and her 4-year-old brother JoEthan Cruz enjoy playing on the swing together.  But for these little kids, a close friend is missing, "Whiskey," their 1-year-old Shepherd mix.

"Whiskey was the best pet I've had. I am really sad he's gone. I just want him back," said Jessica.

One evening is August, the gate was accidentally left open to their backyard and Whiskey got out. The dog hasn't been seen since. Desperate to find the dog, Jessica and JoEthan's mother posted lost signs all over town and even posted lost pet ads at nearly every pet website she could think of.  

"I've gone to find fido.com, petfinders.com, ARK, The Haven, Dog Gone Lubbock.  I've gone to every pet thing you can go to," she said.

This mom, who would rather not be identified for personal reasons, got an e-mail about one month later from someone by the name of David Richards claiming to have found her pet.  He contacted her through petfinders.com. 

"I got an e-mail stating they had my pet, that how dare I leave my pet out and untreated.  He said the pet was injured and had to be taken to the vet," she explained.

The mother says the person on the other end of the e-mail wanted her to send $400 to cover the veterinarian bill before sending the pet.  Funny thing was, he always referred to "Whiskey" as a pet, never a dog.  This mother decided to smarten up.  She tested his knowledge just to see if he was telling the truth.  She was able to talk to him on the phone. 

"I got him talking and asked is my dog OK? Is she pregnant?  She's been out for a while, she could be pregnant -- anything could have happened to her.  He said 'I took her to the vet, she's fine. The vet says she wasn't pregnant'."

That's when she knew he wasn't telling the truth because Whiskey isn't a she, he's a male. The man hung up when he knew he got caught in his own lie.

NewsChannel 11 tried contacting the man.  We wrote "How much money can you actually make doing this line of work? Where do you live? Are you in not living in the U.S.?  How many people do you rip off on a daily basis?  Is your name really David Richards?"

No surprise, he didn't write us back.

Jessica is still looking for her dog, but also wanted to warn others about what has happened to her family. 

"The people who are old(er) really are going to miss their pets and they'll end up giving them the money," Jessica said, "That is wrong."

If you have placed an ad online about your lost pet, be careful.  If someone contacts you and demands money before returning your pet, make sure you make them give you a description of the pet.

Disciplinary Summary from the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Check on the Disciplinary Status of Your Vet with the State Board.

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