My Pets For Kings story starts with an ending of sorts. We had just lost our male French Bulldog Satch to cancer, after 13 years, wheel chairs and numerous operations our little man was gone. As you can imagine we were devastated by the loss and had a huge hole in our hearts and house that we didn’t think would ever be healed. As time went on though we felt we were ready for another dog. Since e we had such great luck in the past with online purchases (both of our dogs were purchased this way) we went on the hunt for a new pet.
Sadly, this is where our story takes a horrible turn. During our research we found a website that looked perfect, great reviews, glossy pictures of well-fed happy puppies and the prices were very reasonable for the breed we were looking for. This website was PetsForKings.com
As you can see this website is VERY attractive, testimonials from satisfied buyers even a guarantee. Sounds good right? I called the number on the website and spoke with a man who was the “breeder” and told him we were very interested in one of the French Bulldog puppies shown on the website. Luckily for us the dog was still available!
We were given instructions on how to pay using Google Pay and that everything to do with shipping was included in the final price of $1150.00. Having never used Google Pay before this seemed like a legitimate method of payment so we set up an account and went ahead and paid the fee.
We then received an email from Pets for Kings letting us know that the payment had been accepted and that their shipping company Rayon shipping would be contacting us the next day with flight information and other details. Sure enough the next day at precisely the time we were told we received a call from the shipping company saying they had our dog and that they were going to perform a wellness check to make sure he was ok to fly and then get back to us with flight information.
After a couple of hours of not getting a call we became concerned and called the shipping company for an update. At this point we were told that the crate the breeder had sent the dog in was not the correct size for the dog and due to FAA regulations, they were unable to send us the dog and would follow up with a more detailed email with further instructions. We then received an email from a very legitimate looking shipping company stating that if we wanted to pay $3500.00 for the correct crate we could get our dog the same day. I called the breeder as I felt that we should have to pay for his error but was unable to reach anyone by phone, text or the site chat function. We finally realized we had been scammed.
I continued to try to reach the breeder and 3 days later I actually got to speak to someone, a different person than I had previously dealt with but he seemed very concerned about what had happened and said he would contact the shipping company to see what could be done. This was the LAST contact we had with anyone from Pets For Kings.
I immediately called my bank to try to stop the transaction however the transaction had to be processed before they would do anything about it. I also called Google Pay who basically said there was nothing they could do.
I then reached out to the BBB and found that pets for kings was a known scam and that someone else in my area had also been taken. I then started doing some research into the company that hosted the website, they were based in Vancouver Canada and found out that the shipping company and the PetsForKings.com website were both registered through then. I let them know that there was criminal activity being done by the website and received a snotty letter back saying that any random email form someone is not a reason to suspend or investigate the website.
I then filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and wrote the hosting company back and sent them a screen shot of the filing. When we filed with the BBB we were contacted by our local TV station who did a piece on our story with a warning about these types of sites and along with a huge Facebook push we were able to get the site taken down.
There are a number of things that we learned from our experience.
- Do your research, check the BBB, look into PetScams.com.
- If it sounds or looks too good to be true….it is.
- Facebook also has a huge reach and is a great resource to root out these sites.
- Report the scam to Stop Online Puppy Mills.
The PetScam site: