Pet Problem: Experts Warn About Gift Scam

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Puppies are a popular holiday gift. Sadly, there are plenty of online dogs hoping to prey on your wallet.

The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about “Coolpups.net.”

The website is currently being investigated because of bad business claims.

According to Sue McConnell, VP of BBB Cleveland, “We posed as a customer at http://www.coolpups.net and we received an email saying we’re all out of puppies, but we have a vet named Dr. Paul who can get you a dog.”

McConnell told Fox 8 you can’t talk to anyone on the phone, it’s just email.  The so-called “Dr. Paul” gives you the run-around while asking for more money for a crate and extra funds for medicine and/or customs requirements.

The Better Business Bureau says it is a typical scheme this time of the year, one that cost  a Cleveland woman $500.

“The red flag is they have puppies at prices that are well below market value of what you would buy at  local breeders,” says McConnell.  “They want paid upfront and they want you to wire it or online payment situation.”

Sharon Harvey, of the Cleveland Animal Protective League says, “We implore people to visit shelters or rescue groups, there are so many animals out there now looking for homes.  There is really no need to take the risk.”

The Cleveland APL has roughly 300-400 animals available daily and 25-percent are pure bred.

Harvey adds, “They`ve already been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas, wormed and loved.  And they get 30-day pet insurance.  For the money, you get an amazing animal at an incredible value.”

Fox 8 reached out to Coolpups.net but has not heard back at the time of this report.