EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB / WSHM) – A story you’ll only see on Western Mass News. A local family is heartbroken and spent hundreds of dollars after considering buying a French Bulldog puppy, but they never received it.
Western Mass News has got answers on what you should look for when finding a new pet.
A mother from East Longmeadow wanted to bring a dog home to the delight of her young autistic son. She had no idea what problems it would cause.
Meet Sadie, the French Bulldog puppy Amanda Behringer thought she was getting last week.
The East Longmeadow native purchased the dog through a website she discovered on Facebook.
âIt all looked really legitimate and sounded great,â Behringer said.
Her 6-year-old son has nonverbal autism, and she said it can be difficult for him to bond with people and animals. Behringer told us he was close to the family’s former dog, Simon, a Frenchie who died last month.
âHow connected he really was to this dog. That’s when we decided to get another one, âBehringer said.
Due to COVID, she said it was more difficult to visit pet stores and chose to buy a dog online.
âThey could deliver it and ship it here, that was even better,â Behringer said.
She sent a payment of $ 800 and continued to contact the breeder. She even showed these email confirmations which included shipping information and tracking details.
But after payment was received, Behringer received error messages and the seller stopped communicating with her.
âOver $ 1,000 in lost wages, including that day’s work,â Behringer said.
Although the money was a waste, the hard part was telling her son that Sadie was not coming.
âThe money can be recovered. But the worst part was that he was excited. He said new puppy; he was showing the door, âBehringer explained.
We reached out to Pam Peebles, the Executive Director of the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, for answers on what you can look for when buying a dog.
âGet to know them, make sure they’re registered, watch their reviews, ask for testimonials,â Peebles said.
She added that with the rise in online shopping, these situations are becoming more and more common.
âUnfortunately, this scam is becoming so widespread that we hear about something like this almost every day, if not once a day,â Peebles explained.
Behringer filed a police report on Monday evening.
East Longmeadow Police Sergeant Daniel Bruno provided this statement which read: “This is an open investigation, and at this point the case is ongoing.”
Behringer just wants to make sure that other people are not victims like her.
âI don’t want this to happen to other people, I don’t want it to happen to another child, in particular,â Behringer added.
We contacted the seller, who did not respond to us regarding the situation.