Dog Deception: South Florida Woman Scammed After Searching For Puppy To Train As Service Dog – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

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(WSVN) – A family in South Florida went online to find a new puppy to train as a service animal, but instead of having their new pet, they were the victim of dog cheating . The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s special mission report.

Maria Savilla: “Go ahead, my girl! NS !”

This 4 year old Great Dane loves to be the center of attention.

Maria Savilla’s dog, Nala, is more than a pet. He is also an emotional support dog.

Maria Savilla, dog owner: “It takes a lot of the anxiety away.”

In addition to suffering from anxiety, Maria also suffers from lupus and neuropathy and begins to have difficulty walking.

She wants to get a second Great Dane puppy to train as a service dog. This dog would learn to keep Maria steady while she walks.

Maria Savilla: “We were so excited about this adventure that we thought we were going to keep going until it all happened. I searched for Great Dane puppies on Google, and then all of a sudden the site popped up.

Here is the site Maria found: MDPuppies.com.

When she saw this 9 week old puppy named Stanley, she emailed the company and spoke to someone named Emmanuel.

Under that contract, she paid $ 500 to ship Stanley from Maryland to Broward.

Maria Savilla: “They said, ‘Well we can use the CashApp or Zelle’, and we were like, ‘OK, everybody’s doing that. I didn’t think it was bad.

Maria was asked to send the money not to Emmanuel, but to another person named Terrace Brashier. It didn’t suit him.

Maria Savilla: “We pay them. We go to bed. I had a hunch. I said, “I just wanna go online and start over on Google,” and all this stuff started popping up on the website, how a scam it was.

Maria tried to ask for her money, but the company’s phone number was disconnected.

No one would respond to our messages either.

The Better Business Bureau says more and more people are falling victim to pet fraud.

Cinthya Lavin, Better Business Bureau: “Since the lockdown began in 2020, we’ve certainly seen an increase in pet scams through our scam and complaint tracker that we receive from BBB. “

Nearly 4,000 pet fraud claims were reported to the agency last year.

If you decide to buy a pet from a website, don’t be fooled by the photos or videos you see posted.

Cinthya Lavin: “About 90% of puppy pet photos may not really be from the seller claiming to have them. Anyone can go on social media and take a screenshot and go online and start posting these animals like they’re their own.

We did a reverse search of the images on the site.

Some of them link to a website with archival photos.

This is a video that Maria was sent from Stanley, 9 weeks old.

The TV in the background shows the time and date – Monday February 3, but the last time February 3 fell on a Monday was in 2020, so it’s very likely that the puppy Maria wanted wouldn’t even be. a puppy. more.

Maria Savilla: “Your heart just goes down to your stomach because you’re thinking, ‘How can these people do that? “”

Maria has filed a report with the state attorney general’s office, but she is unlikely to get her money back.

Maria Savilla: “Five hundred dollars is no laughing matter. “

Maria still wants another Great Dane, but for now, Nala will stay by her side to help Maria get through the anxiety caused by dog ​​cheating.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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