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DENVER -- Kenny Moore unexpectedly lost his best friend on Halloween, a Pomeranian named Hunter who was always by his side.
"He was the greatest dog especially being in a wheelchair, you know?" said Moore.
Moore is paralyzed from the chest down and suffers from PTSD. His dog was more than a companion, it was also an emotional support animal.
"I’m just trying to fill that void so I was out there searching for puppies and came across a website on Google that looks 100% legit," said Moore.
Moore pulled up Google and searched for Pomeranian breeders in Colorado. He found a website that specialized in Pomeranian puppies called perkytoyteacuppuppies.com. He was interested in two of the puppies on the site, so he reached out.
"I sent them half the money through Google Pay, I sent them $475 then I went and got a prepaid card," said Moore.
His stepmom, Darla Whitty, helped him so could he pay the $950 for the dog. It was supposed to be an early Christmas present.
Moore continued to exchange multiple text messages with someone who claimed to be the breeder and that person even talked with him on the phone.
Whitty was in town Thanksgiving weekend and offered to pickup the puppy. The breeder gave Moore an address and his stepmom drove to the home, anxious to meet their new family member.
"I parked and I went to the door and there was a gentleman there that was inside and he was looking and I said do you have a puppy, I’m here to pick up a puppy and he said no. I said do you sell puppies, and he said no," said Whitty.
By the time she got back inside the car, she realized they had been scammed.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the number of reported scams involving pets has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I kept all of the dog toys and stuff and I hope and I pray that another puppy comes our way, it was really terrible because I don’t have the money to help him again," said Whitty.
Contact Denver7 reached out to perkytoyteacuppuppies.com and asked if they could explain what happened. A person with the website responded, "Hi thanks for getting back. This is not a scam and we are working on refunding back the money to him any of these days."
Moore doesn't believe he will ever see that money again and doesn't want another family to experience the same disappointment.
"I really wanted to believe that these dogs were real. I let my guard down, my emotions were focused on finding a dog and I had that hurt in my heart," said Moore.