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Posted: 11:29 a.m. Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pair under investigation for fraud for selling mixed-breed dogs

By Kelli Wynn

Authorities with the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and the Englewood Police Department warned consumers Thursday about a dog scam that resulted in its victims being swindled out of hundreds of dollars after responding to false advertising about AKC-registered dogs.

The two agencies, along with Union police, became aware of the scam two weeks ago, according to Chief Humane Agent Sheila Marquis.

No arrests have been made in the case, but the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office is considering possible felony charges against a man and a woman believed to be Englewood residents, according to Marquis and a representative of the prosecutor’s office.

The couple is accused of posting online advertisements that advertised they were selling American Kennel Club-registered purebreed dogs, but they instead sold mixed breed dogs to the ad responders. Some of the victims drove from out of state to locations in the Englewood-area to purchase the puppies.

“(The suspects) were advertising them as AKC Newfoundland puppies. When (the victims) purchased them and got them back to the vet, they discovered that they were not Newfoundlands at all,” Marquis said.

The dogs sold included lab-mixed and terrier-mixed breeds, she said.

So far, authorities said they have identified 11 victims of the scam.

Marquis didn’t know the total amount of money the victims lost to the scam, but she said some of the victims paid up to $700 for their dogs.

Anyone with information regarding additional victims or dealings with the suspects is asked to call Humane agent Sheila Marquis at (937) 262-8091 or the Englewood Police Department at (937) 836-1194. 

The Humane Society offered the following guidelines to ensure you are not a victim of a scam.

  • Know and understand the breed you are looking for. Do your homework so you are informed and knowledgeable on what you should and should not be looking for when choosing a specific breed. 
  • Never send money for a deposit without seeing the companion animal.
  • If a person claims that an animal has received shots or vaccines, get a complete copy of the vet records and the name of the vet. Follow up with this vet's office to ensure this information is valid and all of the required shots have been given.
  • Never meet someone in a parking lot. This may seem obvious but scammers may try to do all transactions in a general location such as a parking lot so you cannot see where the companion animals are kept. 
  • Request to see the animal's parents. If you are dealing with a reputable breeder, they will be glad to show you the parents so you can confirm the purity of the breed. 
  • Never purchase a dog that is claimed to be AKC-registered without having the proper paperwork. If they claim they will mail you the paperwork, don't trust them. Unless you leave with the paperwork in your hands, you have no way to prove the information they say is true. 
  • Ask for references from previous buyers. Contact a few people who have dealt with this person before and see what their experiences were like. 

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 112 years ago, it is the largest and most-established "no-kill" animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org http://www.hsdayton.org.  

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