Union Co. man warns others about online pet scam

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A Union County family is warning others after falling victim to an online pet purchase that turned out too good to be true. 

For this Sturgis family, it wasn’t until they shelled out more than $1,000 that they realized it was too late and now they’re fighting to get their money back along with lost hope.

When Peter Van lost one of his best buddies a few weeks ago, he was left with heartache, “We had a set of pugs, twin brothers and one of them passed away,” said Peter Van. 

The pair was inseparable. So Van wanted to get a new friend for his other dog, Cyrus. 

He found a company, Green-Field Pug House, claiming to be from California online selling a pug for $600.

After sending over the money, he was told the dog would be shipped the next day but issues began to arise. 

“Said look there’s an issue with weather, the crate the dogs in isn’t good enough. You need to rent another. It’s a refundable fee as long as the crate’s not ruined. $900.”

So he sent it. From a tracking number, he saw the dog went from California to Texas.

But then came another message. 

“They want more money. So I went in and looked and then they wanted some sort of insurance.. wanted $1400. At that point… I realized we’d been had.”

That was on Sunday. Van says he’s contacted the local Sheriff’s Office, but the company still wants more money to get the dog to him.

“We did everything out of love and goodness of our heart and being trusting,” His heart aches even more now and knows Cyrus’ heart does too. 

In all, the family is out $1,500 and feel lucky that they weren’t trapped into giving away any more. They’re warning all pet owners, especially one’s right after a pet’s loss, to be extra careful online and always do some research. 

As for the company, the website for Green-Field Pugs went dark Monday afternoon.

We have tried to reach them for comment but have yet to hear back.

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(This story was originally published on February 18, 2019)

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