Puppy Scams

I’ve been talking about a puppy scam email on twitter… but 140 characters just wasn’t enough.

We responded to an ad in the local online classifieds, someone saying they had English Bulldog puppies looking for a home. Here’s the response we got, with a bunch of *adorable* puppy pics attached.

Anyway if you read this, aside from the mangled English, there are other ‘tells’: cut and paste errors, referring to different numbers of dogs at different times, and the time pressure element (48 hours). Maybe I’m just a paranoid jerk and this is all legit, but I trust my instincts enough to not contact these people further.

It should be noted that shelters are asking $300-$550 as adoption fees for mixed breed dogs, so $120 for AKC bulldog puppies is way too good to believe in the first place.

I should also note that a bit of Googling reveals that classified ad puppy scams are a known problem.

Here’s the email, unedited:

am very glad on your interest towards my lovely English bulldog puppies well these puppies are now available and ready to be a family companion or your best friend, they are called KELLY LOLO and NINA (Male pups) and CINDY LILI and SANDRA (Female pups), they are outstanding AKC male and female registered puppies from multi-championship bloodlines with an awesome pedigree.
They are all AKC registered and vet checked and they are full of natural beauty and will all make very good house companions.I am giving them out for adoption only to a good pet loving and caring home because i do not want them to suffer. They are medically well and they are very friendly with kids,adults and other house pets .
The reason i am giving them out is that i moved into a new apartment where pets are not allowed and I have been given a 48 hours notice to get rid of them ..It is really painful though and i need a new home that will provide KELLY LOLO NINA CINDY LILI and SANDRA a best of care they need and to provide them with their necessities that’s why I’ve been looking for a good pet loving and caring home for them that will provide them with all the love i want them to experience.I will like you to promise me that you will provide my little cute babies with all their needs and show them all the love they need..My babies are very sensitive and i will like to tell you a little about them:-
KELLY LOLO and NINA……. are absolutely adorable babies, who who are only 2.3 lbs at 11
weeks old. Estimated adult structure 7.8 lbs. baby doll face, with tiny ears. She is tiny for breeding or showing but absolutely gorgeous. She has been home raised with lots of TLC and pre-spoiled for her new home and is very friendly.there are excellent example of an extreme lovely babies.She is already willing to go to her new pets loving and caring home.
:-there are house/Potty Trained.
:-there eat 2 times daily and at afternoons she drinks Milk .
:-there are socialized with kids and other house hold pets .
:-there likes to be carried a lot and be spoiled.
:-there likes to be kissed ..
:-there are 12 Weeks old and weighs 3 lbs

CINDY LILI and SANDRA ……… there are absolutely adorable puppies, there are all female puppies and has
tiny ears, there are 7.8 lbs at 12 weeks.Estimated adult structure
9.9 lbs. baby doll face, with tiny ears,excellent silk coats and
already have personality plus and very playful!!He is cute for
breeding, but gorgeous and He has been home raised and is just so cute and is willing to go to a new home which is caring and loving.
:-He is house/potty trained
:-He eats 2 times a day and drinks milk at noon.
:-He is socialized.
:-He’s also a portable baby.
:-He feels shy when carried.
:-He also likes to be kissed.
:-He is 12 weeks old and weighs 3.5ib
I will like to have the information so that i can be clearly convinced that you will provide a good and lovely home for these babies.So Please i will like to know the following from you to see if my babies will be in good arms
1: Whats your full names and where are you located?
2: Are you Married?
3: Do you have kids.If yes, do they love puppies?
4: Do you have a yard that they can play in?
5: Are you a breeder?Or a Pet Lover?
6: How soon do you need them and will you care for them?
7: Which of them do you need?
Would it be possible for you send me monthly pictures so i can know how they are doing in their new home.Sorry for asking such questions but i am just trying to look a good and loving home for my babies.They are very dedicated to what we may ask them and they understand basic commands such as sit,stand etc.They enjoy retrieving toys, but mostly loves the attention of the family. With little training they will follow more commands since they are very willing to learn. Please if you know that you will take good care of the puppies i will be glad to read from you.All you just need to do is to take good care of them and they will be yours for ever and will make good house companions and will bring love to your family.You can contact me via email Each puppy will cost you $120 for it’s transfer of ownership documents from my names to your names so if you want both puppies, it shall cost you $240 for both.. Also that’s all you shall be spending to get the puppies. I have attached some photos so let me know what you think about them. Waiting to read from you soon and may GOD bless you.
Thanks and greetings from Mary family

Isis (2004-2010) Rest in Peace

Isis gave up her long battle with health issues and left us last night.

She’d been unwell for a couple of years, really, but a few weeks ago she got really bad and I feared we were going to lose her. We made a vet appointment but by the time we got in to see him, she’d mostly recovered. Nevertheless the vet gave her a slow-release hormone shot and she sprang back, seemingly better than she’d been in months and months. We knew she was really old for a guinea pig and that we didn’t have much time left with her, but it was so great to see her cavorting like a young pig again.

Then yesterday afternoon I noticed she hadn’t eaten some treats I gave her. By evening her breathing had become very labored, as it had last month. She was still eating some but was becoming very selective. By the time I went to bed she was moving around again and I thought she was going to spring back, but this morning I was greeted by her still body rather than her usual strident demands for breakfast. It seems she went peacefully…she looked like she was sleeping.

On some level there’s a sense of relief. It’s so hard to tell how much discomfort a guinea pig is in, since they’re ‘prey animals’ and showing weakness is a good way to draw the attention of a predator. But I think she’d been pretty uncomfortable for a long while. She was slowly losing weight over the past few months in spite of eating plenty. I suspect her eyesight was going, too.

Her appreciation for pets and cuddles and scritches never left, though. Yesterday evening both Angela and I spent some quality ‘lap time’ with her (though in my case it was more like neck time… she’d crawled up and settled in on my shoulder with her little bum under my chin) and the last thing I did when I went to bed was give her a pet and I got a purr as a reward.

If you’ve never lived with a guinea pig all this fuss probably seems silly. I thought Angela was a bit bonkers when I first met her and she’d talk about Isis. Then I met her and my attitude changed and since then we’ve added two more members to our guinea pig family. Over the years as the vet bills ran into thousands of dollars friends would tell me “Just go buy another guinea pig!” and the pre-Isis me would’ve thought the same thing. But these creatures have strong personalities and are smarter than you might think. They are definitely not interchangeable.

So goodbye to Isis, or “Little bear” as I often called her. She’s somewhere in a better place where there’s plenty of fresh grass to eat and nothing looking to eat her. She’s probably already bossing other guinea pig spirits around, making things “just so” in the same way she managed to do that here with us.

Mimi and Mona are unsettled and a bit confused. When I came into the room this morning instead of the usual chorus of good morning purrs and soft wheeks, there was just silence. They knew something was wrong. Angela wanted to give them a chance to ‘say goodbye’ so we put them with Isis’s body. Mona just seemed perplexed but Mimi kept trying to prod or nip Isis awake. Heartbreaking.

If you have a pet of any kind, give him or her a hug for me today, will ya?

WoW am I ever tempted

This weekend is World of Warcraft’s 4th “birthday” and to celebrate it, anyone with an active account gets a baby polar Blizzard bear pet (as well as an achievement I guess…I don’t even get what the point of WoW achievements are).

This probably circles back to me not fitting into the “too old and too male” comments that sur- rounded Wizard 101, but I’m seriously tempted to re-activate my account just to get this little guy!! I’ve always been a sucker for non-combat pets in MMOs, for whatever reason. Probably the same reason I’m a sucker for non-combat pets in real life, I guess.


Callie (????-2006) Rest in Peace

CallieI lost a friend today, after about ten days of trying one cure after another. My strange little cat, Callie, who came into my life about two and a half years ago, was put to rest at noon today.

I am overwhelmed and startled at how sad I am over this. I’ve lost grandparents and my father and a step-brother and a step-father and I don’t remember ever being quite this sad…and its over a cat. Strange, and probably not really true. I’m sure I’ve just buried the old griefs so that I don’t remember them as being as bad as they were. Or maybe its just that she was so totally dependent on me.

Callie was a wonderful creature, though she wasn’t much of a cat. She was a street cat that wound up in a shelter somehow and I don’t think she spent much time with her mother learning to act cat-like. We think she’d had some kind of head trauma, because she couldn’t walk very well and seemed constantly surprised by the world. She was a total mess of a cat who had trouble eating and so wound up with food in her fur constantly. That said, she’s often decide my beard needed grooming when I picked her up. She was sweet and good natured, but she hissed when she wanted attention (other than a quiet purr, hissing was the only sound I ever heard her make). She seemed happiest with a warm lap to nap on, or failing that, to stretch out alongside a reclining human. When I brought her home she had ear mites so bad that I think she was mostly deaf. She couldn’t see very well, either. Couldn’t walk very well… though she ran fine. And her lack of grooming talents extended to both ends of her, and more than once I had to plop her in the bathroom sink to bathe her. When this happened she’d quietly accept it, but she’d just look at me with this totally puzzled expression.

Today was her 4th trip to the vet in ten days and she wasn’t getting any better. She’d been mostly sleeping for almost a week and we decided that the best thing for her was to end her misery. I knew it was coming so we spent a lot of time together over the past couple of days, her sleeping in my lap while I watched endless tv while petting her and giving her scritches under the chin. At the vet I kept on petting her and keeping her comfortable while she drifted off (they give the animal two shots. The first puts them to sleep and the second actually kills them). I kept on petting her while she got the second shot. The vet checked her heart. It had stopped. He told me to take all the time I needed and left the room. I kept on petting her for a good while longer even though she was beyond feeling it. Then I left her body laying on the examining room table and came home. I chose to have her cremated; I’m not big on burials.

When I got home and saw her toys all over, and her favorite box (she *loved* cardboard boxes, as most cats do) waiting for her, I lost it all over again. I quickly gathered up all her things and removed them. Then I went out again. When I came home the house felt empty and silent, even though she wasn’t a ‘greet you at the door’ type of animal usually. I still opened the door carefully, though, just in case, because she wasn’t really smart enough to get out of the way if she was there.

I have no idea how old she was, but she was only with me for about two and a half years. When I adopted her they told me she was two, but the vet felt she was much older, and I tend to agree. She was pretty much a lap-cat and it took a lot to get her motivated to play. She clearly led a rough life before she came to live with me. I think she was happy to end up with me. I remember the day I saw her picture on PetFinder.com and just knew she was the cat for me. Oddly, I’d wanted a big cat and she was tiny. That laptop she’s sitting on is a 12″ iBook, just for a sense of scale. I went to the shelter and they opened the door of the cage she was in and she just climbed up into my arms like she’d always known me.

I’m really going to miss that little furball…