OKC Police Investigate National Dog Buying Scam - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

OKC Police Investigate National Dog Buying Scam

Posted: Updated:
Oklahoma City police are trying to track down a group of scam artists who pretend to be dog breeders, but leave expectant families empty-handed, broken-hearted and out quite a bit of cash, police said. Oklahoma City police are trying to track down a group of scam artists who pretend to be dog breeders, but leave expectant families empty-handed, broken-hearted and out quite a bit of cash, police said.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City police are trying to track down a group of scam artists who pretend to be dog breeders, but leave expectant families empty-handed, broken-hearted and out quite a bit of cash, police said.

Oklahoma City police told News 9 Wednesday that a police department in New Jersey contacted them about someone there who fell victim to the scam. When they started investigating, they discovered other victims in other states.

Oklahoma City police want to talk to a man that was captured on surveillance video wearing a red shirt.

Police say a man picked up money that was wired to a Walmart Neighborhood Market at SW 44 and Western Avenue, and then took off in a silver Dodge Caliber.

"Apparently, this scam has been going on across the nation and they've been able to tie it back to Oklahoma City as far as where the money is being wired," said Oklahoma City police officer Megan Morgan. "But it is unknown whether the suspects actually live here in Oklahoma City or if the money is being sent somewhere else."

Legitimate, reputable local dog breeders like Jeanette Zeller hate hearing about someone being scammed by online predators targeting the pet community.

She runs Okie Pups in Jones.

"That really bothers me because I work very, very hard to be reputable and honest and transparent and upfront about everything," said Zeller.

News 9 talked with one woman in Colorado who was searching for a golden retriever puppy and who fell victim to the online scam. She said the scammer even offered for them to come by his place in Yukon, and had a very legitimate looking website and was very eloquent over the phone. 

"When they said they wanted us to come pick it up in Oklahoma, it wasn't a big deal," said Cheral Garrison, who was willing to drive the hundreds of miles from Colorado to central Oklahoma for a pedigree puppy. "You grew to trust them and so did my husband."

But when News 9 tried to go back to the website she visited, it had been taken down. Police said oftentimes, these scam artists create fake online ads, or use parts of a legitimate breeder ad to lure people in.

Zeller said you should avoid online ads altogether and instead ask your local vet or friends for a recommendation.

"If they are not willing to let you do that, then you probably don't want to buy a puppy from them," said Zeller.

Local shelters are also a good place to go. They can also give you a recommendation of a legitimate breeder or have dogs there that are in need of a forever home.

At the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, workers and volunteers say they hear about those dog breeder scams all the time.

They encourage people to come to them or other rescue organizations to find their forever friend, or at least check with them to find a reputable breeder.  

On Wednesday, they even had a pure breed poodle just waiting to be adopted by the right family. Volunteers here say they see pure breed dogs and puppies come through all the time and are sad to hear when a family falls victim to a scam.

"I feel terrible for the people that have done that because they are not going to get their money back and you feel a lot of sympathy for them," said Susana DellaMaddelena, Central Oklahoma Humane Society president. "We always recommend don't buy off the internet. One reason is that it is a very good front for puppy millers which are high volume low quality breeders. They will put up beautiful pictures of a home and talk about the lovely environment that the dogs are living in when indeed the conditions are very inhumane. The second reason is there's a lot of fraud. And so you can send money hoping to get a pet and not get one."

If you recognize the man in the pictures, Oklahoma City police urge you to call Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured On News9.com

  • Consumer Watch

    Been a victim of a scam? The Consumer Watch team investigates and gives helpful advice.

  • Local News

    Get the latest breaking news, current events and headlines affecting Oklahomans.

  • My 2 Cents

    Join Kelly Ogle in a community conversation about important Oklahoma issues.

  • 9 Investigates

    Are you aware of incidents of fraud, corruption, government waste? We investigate.

Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.