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Letter: Scam alert! Dogs needing homes was a hoax

To the editor: 

We have, over the years, rescued eight dogs, one goose, one baby pig, two horses, two cows and a rabbit and odd assorted kids who needed a home or at least a place to stay for one reason or another. So when I saw the ad in the newspaper for two "AKO" English bull terrier dogs for free with the person's email address, I wrote immediately.

I didn't hear anything for a few weeks, then I got an email from a person who identified himself as Robin Smith, however, he thought he was addressing the newspaper. I wrote to correct him and he replied that he and his wife got an urgent call from the missionary group they supposedly worked with that they were needed immediately in Africka(?). They didn't have time to get the dogs to me before they left, so they were with them in Africka. However, if I still wanted them, just mail my address, etc. and they would check to see the nearest airport to where I lived and then I could send them the amount that it would cost to fly them to me. He had left an address and phone number with the newspaper and both were fake.

If he knew where to send the ad to the newspaper, living in Wisconsin (supposedly) he would have known how much it cost from there to his new address, right? And I cannot believe he would not have had to leave the dogs in quarantine (not even film star Elizabeth Taylor was able to bring her dogs, long ago, without that stipulation when she went overseas).

And I cannot believe his missionary group would have paid the flight cost to bring the dogs with him as the three groups I work with have a hard time just getting enough money to supply medication, clothing, etc, to their missionaries.

Why did not Mr. (Mrs.) Smith just surrender the animals to the Goodhue County Humane Society, or any of the three very competent vet clinics we have in this area? In the Small town where we lived previously, the vets called us when they had a dog or animal they needed to rehome! We had a big farm, a big house and plenty of love to go around

So please, people, don't be fooled into letting your soft heart be taken advantage of. The AARP magazines in the last few copies and papers have good tips on how to avoid scams. You know the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Pat Rapp

Red Wing