VANCOUVER -- Be wary of buying pets online – you could be tricked into spending hundreds of dollars and end up with no pet at all. A Langley family says that’s what happened to them and they want to warn others about it.

When Crystal King and her husband decided to get a dog, they visited a website called Furever Home Mini Dachshund and picked out a puppy named Ken, basing their choice on a particularly cute photo on the site. The bill? $600 for the dog, and $150 to a company called Global Pet Express that said it would ship Ken from Ontario to the Abbotsford airport where the Kings would pick him up. They paid another $960 for what they were told was “refundable insurance.”

The parents kept it secret from their four-year-old son, Cole, and eight-year-old daughter, April, until the morning the pup was set to arrive. When they finally broke the news, the kids were ecstatic. The family set off for the airport early that morning with the little collar they’d purchased for their new dog.

What happened next left their kids heartbroken.

"When we arrived at the airport, there was no puppy," King said.

In an online chat, the shipper said the puppy had arrived in B.C. but had to be held because of the coronavirus. CTV News checked this claim with a Vancouver veterinarian, who said the recent outbreak doesn’t affect dogs.

But the shipper wanted more money in order for Ken to be released. “She wanted me to send another $866,” King said, but by that time, she and her husband doubted a puppy had ever been shipped.

King didn’t send it, and said she was able to cancel the $960 e-transfer she’d sent for the insurance.

However, she’s still out $750 for the purchase and shipping fees, and the $200 in pet supplies the family had bought in anticipation of the puppy’s arrival.

“I feel bad for my kids,” King said.

Karla Laird with the Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C. said complaints about unfulfilled online pet sales are on the rise, with more than 6,000 reported last year.

“You spend your money, you tell your family there’s going to be a new addition to the family,” she said. “The stories are really heartbreaking.” 

But there are a few things the BBB says you can do to protect yourself, such as: 

- See the pet and meet the breeder or seller in person

- Beware of sending money via e-transfers and Western Union to companies you don’t know

- Check out for the names of other sites consumers have reported

We reached out online and by phone to the two websites involved in the Kings' purchase, Global Pet Express and Furever Home Mini Dachshund, but got no response. We did find another website that looked identical to Furever Home, called Awesome Mini Dachshunds and both websites were listed on And now both websites have been suspended.  

King says her family has learned their lesson.

“I don’t believe there was ever a dog and I will never try to order a puppy online again. I’ll be buying local.”

Now, the Kings finally have a new dog. He’s from Kelowna. The breeder brought him to their house herself, and the family didn’t hand over any money until they’d seen him in person. They’ve named him Hudson.