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Dogged Out

Date Posted: 2000-12-01

If you’re thinking of buying a dog while here on Okinawa, think twice. I recently responded to an ad under the “Pets” section of the Japan Update Classifieds. The ad read as such:

Dogs for Sale: Dachshund, Pug, Miniature Pinscher, Maltese, Toy Poodle, Sheba, Doberman, Labrador, Golden Retriever, Beagle, Welsh Corgi, Chihuahua, Shih-tzu and many more. Papers & shots included. Call XXX-XXXX-XXXX.

I called the seller and made arrangements to see a Yorkshire Terrier. The price was $700.00, which the seller agreed to split into two payments for us. After paying the first $300.00, I received the puppy; however, when the puppy was delivered it didn’t come with a shot record, which I immediately questioned. I know I shouldn’t have accepted a puppy without shots but once I saw those big brown eyes, I was done! Two weeks passed and the seller had yet to make arrangements for the shots but was eager to receive the second payment. At this point I became very suspicious but I didn’t want to return Kieko. I had grown too attached to her. Again the seller assured me that the matter of the shots would be taken care of. So I paid $300.00 of the final payment, with the last $100.00 due once I received the registration papers. As you may have guessed I didn’t hear from the seller the next day. Every call I made to the advertised number went unanswered. I decided to take Keiko to the vet on base since I could no longer wait. It was then I discovered the she had mange and had infected my entire family with this mite. For the past two months I’ve been ceaselessly trying to get my registration papers and reimbursement for my out of pocket vet expenses with no success. The seller has employed every tactic imaginable to avoid me. I finally got so upset I called the staff at Japan Update to lodge a complaint. It was then I discovered I wasn’t alone. I have since located four other military members who have had the same problem with the aforementioned seller as well as the many calls Japan Update was receiving in regards to this seller. I suspect there are a great deal more.

Since then, my dog is getting much better and this woman has hopefully been stopped from selling animals on this island, or anywhere else. Although I suspect that my dog may not be purebred and registered with the Japanese Kennel Club, she is well loved by our family and we have learned an invaluable lesson after all of this. Kudos to the staff at Japan Update for acting professional and responsible by quickly looking into the matter and pulling the ad before anymore families could be duped. If you think you have been a victim of this unscrupulous seller, make sure to contact Japan Update.

My advice to anyone who’s thinking about buying a dog is to look in the local shelters first. P.A.W.S. and Karing Kennels are overflowing with adorable pets! With so many animals in desperate need of a good home for a lot less money and trouble, it definitely would be the smartest way to go.

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