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Couple on the hook for hundreds of dollars in dog scam

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BATON ROUGE - Buyer beware. A man looking to purchase a puppy online was scammed out of hundreds of dollars.

The dog's name was Gracie and she was supposed to be at her new Baton Rouge home by now. Gerald Adams and his wife were searching for a new Maltese after their beloved Boo died.

"We were trying to replace the dog that had just been run over and killed," said Adams.

It all started with a website cherrymatese.com, which is Maltese without the "L." The website looked legitimate to Adams and his wife, which even had testimonials from clients who supposedly purchased dogs from the website claiming how wonderful the dogs were.

Right away, Adams says his wife liked Gracie, an 11-week-old puppy that was available in New York. Most of the correspondence between someone at the company and his wife happened through text message. 

"Through correspondence, he said he was shipping the dog out and he gave me a Cash App address to send the money to, which I did," he said.

The price offered was a 50-percent discount of $660. Adams sent the money to a Cash App address for John Lamp and was told the dog would be put on a plane the next day.

Five days later and the dog still hadn't arrived. It was then that Adams learned the dog was stuck in Ohio and more money would be needed to purchase a special crate to send the dog on the final leg of its journey. The crate cost was $685.

"I called this so-called Pet Alliance place and I asked them about giving me an address if the dog can't make it on the airplane I'll come pick the dog up," said Adams. "But they would not give me an address."

Adams was emailed a photo of what looked like an airport baggage carrier holding a dog in a crate, which was to let him know that the dog was in Ohio. He didn't know where.

Desperate to get the dog, Adams said his wife tried to send the rest of the fee by Money Gram, but the payment was rejected by the address provided.

"And that's when I knew it was certainly a scam then," said Adams.

Monday, 2 On Your Side checked the website cherrymatese.com and found that the dog Gracie is apparently still available.

Adams has filed a report with Cash App and his bank. He's also contacted the Louisiana Attorney General's Office. The website cherrymatese.com shows up online on a pet scam website among a list of hundreds of other websites.

If Adams and his wife plan to invest in another dog in the future, they plan to shop locally.

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