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Sunday, October 11, 2009

pet profiteers and misrepresentation on adverts

This story also at Ubi Kuching Project.

Recently, we rescued 2 factory puppies from my neighbourhood and after taking care of them, we went about finding new loving homes for the pups. The little girl pup was adopted by a family with a big house, and had already bought bags of food for her even before their dad went to drive and pick her up to bring her home to the family.

The boy pup was adopted by a guy who's from PRC (working/studying in sg). He was so eager to adopt him that he waited for our friend outside his shop where the dogs were boarding, so that he could view and bring the puppy home.

We were so glad for both pups that they found new homes and were saved from potential removal or culling by the authorities. Our friend Aswat at Angels Pet Shop even gave the boy-pup's adopter a pack of free dog food - same brand as he was eating (Acana), as well as subsidised his transport fee for bringing Dane home.

But something horrible happened. We found on 88db.com that the same boy-pup, Dane, was being posted for SALE. This was not our intention - we do adoption and rescue work to find homes for the animals, not for profit.

Not only was the adopter not genuine, he even claims he paid $4k for the dog. This is NOT TRUE. He paid an adoption fee of $350. NB: We ask this of adopters for a few reasons: (1) to cover the animals boarding, food and potential medical costs while we foster them, (2) to prevent adopters from abandoning the animals again - this has happened before (3) to generate some income for our animal rescue and re-homing work. Usually the adopted animals' fees do not cover the food and boarding costs much, as we feed and care for them well, but we are doing this not for profit but for the welfare of these disadvantaged animals so the costs whether covered or not is not an issue to us.

We do record adopters' particulars when they adopt an animal from us. We also exercise our due diligence on advising owners on the care, licensing, sterilisation (if animals are young) of the animal. We made a follow up call to Dane the boy pup's owner yesterday to check if Dane was doing ok. He said yes, the dog is doing fine. We also asked if we could visit. He declined all available days and times we offered claiming he was busy. On the 88db add, he claimed that he cannot care for the dog due to family matters. This is also obviously already A LIE, as he claimed the dog was doing well at his home.

Although the number he left on our adopter's log book was different from the one posted on the add, I recognised his voice immediately when I made a mystery shopper's call this morning after the call yesterday to check on the dog. I made the mystery shopper's call using another number, and with a different voice (my morning hoarse and sad sounding voice), asking about the dog for sale. He said that there was somebody already interested in the dog but hasn't 'registered' yet (WTF does that mean? anyway) so the pup was still available. He asked me to tell him more about myself; I said I was interested in getting a dog because my dog just died. (Actually, my dog died about 10 years ago). I told him I will call back.

It is the SAME GUY. He spoke with the same funny PRC accent and had the same voice.

WTF? I am so cheesed off. Dane the pup looked so sad in the 88db pics, but he is so happy in our ubikuchingproject pics.

Addendum: A reader just emailed me saying that a PRC by the name of Jeff adopted a rescued miniature bull terrier called Xena from another pet shop which she fostered her at, from then on he disappeared as the particulars which he gave the pet shop was fake. This guy is a serial pet profiteer.

Related links: Hardwarezone here and here; Vr-zone here; Petschannel.com here

Edit: There had already been one interested party who contacted the PRC guy for the puppy. This guy paid a deposit of $200 and had already collected Dane home. He then found out about this scam online, and called our friend Aswat who fostered and did the re-homing for Dane. He will be bringing the puppy over for us to view to see if it is indeed Dane and if so, he is going to report to the police.