West Valley woman surprised with new puppy after she fell victim to puppy scheme

Weeks after falling victim to a puppy scheme, Christmas came early for one West Valley family.

FOX 10 first reported on Chelsea Myers on Nov. 30. The woman, who lives in Surprise, said she found an ad for a puppy on Facebook.

"I was on Facebook and I saw this Cavapoo picture and he had a whole bunch of them up there," she said, adding, "I clicked on it and I guess it was clickbait and I sent him a message and I asked him if he had any puppies available."

The puppy was being sold for $600 and the deposit was $200. This was a good deal considering that this kind of breed usually runs between $2,000 - $3,000 per dog. After days of back and forth conversation, the seller behind the screen seemed legit.

"I feel like if you're going to get scammed it will be more than that, so I paid him $200. He said it was for transfer fees to put the puppy in our name. That's pretty much what it was and he agreed to come out," Myers said.

However, when it was time to bring the puppy to meet her new family, the man was a no show. After constant communication, even speaking to one another over the phone, the seller began ignoring her. He blocked her phone number and got away with $200. 

"It's not just the money. I had to let all of my kids know. It's like they were expecting a puppy yesterday and there's no puppy," Myers said.

Weeks after the sad turn of events, the Myers family got a new, nine-week-old puppy, which they have decided to name Rhea.

"Our goal was to spread awareness, so getting a puppy was totally not on our radar, but we're super grateful for it," said Myers. "It's a huge surprise and really grateful to be able to give them a puppy."

President Frank Mineo with Animal Kingdom Puppies and Love says he saw the story on FOX 10 in November and wanted to do something to help the Myers family out by donating the puppy to the family.

"I was frustrated and upset about to hear that there are people scrupulous and take advantage of nice people and nice families," said Mineo.

The Myers Family was looking for specific necessities: they needed the puppy to be hypo-allergenic as Chelsea's son, who is on the Autism Spectrum, is very sensitive to pet fur.

Rhea, a Goldendoodle, is a perfect fit. 

"They had a checklist, and they had a meeting to themselves and they came back and said this is the puppy," said Myers. "It will be an adventure. We've had already had two."

"It makes it all worthwhile to see what they had to go through and be able to help bring some brightness to their Christmas," said Mineo.

The Better Business Bureau says people looking to purchase a dog online should visit the pet in person, avoid payment methods that cannot trace the seller, research breed prices, and reach out to local animal shelters.

Myers said in November that she filed a report with the Surprise Police Department.