Local pet store caught in middle of suspected puppy fraud ring

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) – The Better Business Bureau and a local pet store are warning of a massive increase in complaints about possible fraud related to online puppy sales. A pet club in Santa Rosa says people showed up at their store to pick up puppies from an online retailer they had no connection with.

Jason Stanfel is adored by this Shih-Tzu Zoe.

The puppy can’t help but lick Jason’s face.

He bought her as a gift for his girlfriend after initially trying to buy her a corgi.

Stanfel found photos of a puppy named “Alisha” online and decided to get them just for his girlfriend.

He says the online site My Forever Puppy offered to sell it with shipping for under $ 1,000.

Stanfel agreed.

“It was mostly the price. The price was so much cheaper than anyone,” explained Stanfel.

He says he got into trouble only after he sent them the money.

“They wanted fees for different things all the time. It’s like they needed a special box to send them in. Need insurance,” Stanfel said.

He calculated the total cost at $ 5,250 after all the fees … and still no corgi after two months.

The managers of a pet club in Santa Rosa believe that Stanfel is being cheated out of his money.

They accuse My Forever Puppy of using the store’s address as a supposed pick-up point without permission.

Pet Club has no affiliation with My Forever Puppy.

Pet Club manager Dawn Clayton says some dog lovers have come from across the country to pick up their pup only to leave disappointed.

“And literally within 30 seconds of one of us talking to them, they’re crying. They’re lost and don’t want to believe us at first,” Clayton said.

The stories were heartbreaking.

“We had a girl from Indiana who drove all the way here,” said Kelly Schole, a store manager. “She almost spent her savings getting this puppy.”

Alma Galvan of the Better Business Bureau says that as of 2020, both the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission have collectively registered 37,000 complaints from people trying to buy puppies online from all sorts of suppliers.

Estimated total damage: $ 3 million.

“We worked from home, some of us were lonely and there were places where the shelters ran out of dogs, for example,” Galvan said.

The Better Business Bureau currently receives more complaints about buying dogs than anything else.

Galvan says it is no coincidence that My Forever Puppy uses a pet store address even though it is unrelated to the store.

“It gives them a bigger confidence problem in sending money again for their dog that they want to buy,” she said.

Stanfel says My Forever Puppy is now asking him for another $ 5,000 to sue the shipping company. “They wanted me to prepay the court fees and then get the check for $ 11,500. I told them when the tide was high that I would send you another cent. “

We’ve contacted My Forever Puppy six times and haven’t heard anything yet. My Forever Puppy’s website is down, but people have left comments on their social media warning other customers of a potential scam.

Check out more stories and videos from Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Do you have a question for Michael and the 7 On Your Side team? Fill out the form HERE!
The 7OYS Consumer Line is a free consumer referral service for individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area. We support individuals with consumer-related problems; We cannot assist with inter-company cases or cases related to family law, criminal matters, landlord / tenant disputes, employment issues, or medical issues. Please read our FAQ here. As part of our process of helping you, it is necessary that we liaise with the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not want us to contact you, please let us know immediately as this will affect our ability to handle your case. Due to the high volume of e-mails, we need 3-5 working days for an answer.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.