Richmond mom gives away dog, finds it for sale on Craigslist - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond mom gives away dog, finds it for sale on Craigslist


It was one of the hardest decisions Brandi Norton ever had to make. She had adopted a young, affectionate Cocker Spaniel that her family named Lacey. But after just a few months in their home, problems were developing.  It wasn't the dog's fault—she was fine. It was everyone else. Two out of the three people in her household were getting sick.

"My son was getting upper respiratory infections on a daily basis and his asthma was kicking in," Norton said. "As well as my mom, whose allergies were kicking in as well."  

So, she went on Craigslist and created an ad offering to give away Lacey for free. She just wanted her to have a good home, and to find people who would love her for the rest of her days.  A Richmond woman answered the ad and Norton says she seemed nice, at first. But looking back, she says there were warning flags.  Still - Brandi handed her over.

But then, she said, "A couple days later after she was adopted—I'd say about a week—I went on the internet and happened to go on Craigslist. Something told me to look, and there she was on an ad. A picture of her face and everything."

Norton had been duped. The woman she had entrusted with her family's beloved pet was trying to sell Lacey for $200. Norton called and called, but never was able to get through to the woman.

But Norton was able to get some measure of revenge.

Vicki Powell operates Capital Area Rescue Effort, one of the largest private rescues in the area. On any given day, she has more than 30 dogs ready for adoption. Powell understands that each animal is different. She recommends home visits, but she also has another clever way to check out potential clients who have owned pets before.

"Nine out of every ten vet offices that I call and say I'm Vickie with CARE, and I'm calling to check on Curt Autry to see if he's a responsible pet owner," she said she gets hung up on.

When Norton found out she had been tricked, she went back to Craigslist and put this Richmond con artist on blast: "She drives this color vehicle, her husband's with her, she drives this kind of vehicle, she's looking for dogs, and they're taking them free and reselling them for money."

Her rant got a lot of attention. Four other Richmond area families came forward, admitting they had been conned by this same woman too! Norton also heard from the woman who was in the process of buying Lacey.

"She contacted me, and said, ‘Is this the correct information about Lacey? Is this really true? Is this the kind of dog she really is? Because I want to adopt her and give her a good home."

In the end, Norton got what she was after. Lacey did go to a good home after all. Norton still gets pictures of the dog, and keeps in touch with the new owners. 

As for the woman who's lying to people and flipping these dogs, we know who she is but I'm not sharing her name, What she's doing technically isn't illegal—just unethical

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