It was yet another blow to a West Kelowna family who had already spent a week searching for their missing pet.
It appears someone tried to scam the family out of the $1,000 reward they are offering for the return of their missing dog, a 10-year-old Samoyed named Nanook.
On May 9, Amanda Bos said her family got a call from someone at a blocked number claiming to have Nanook, who’d gone missing a week earlier from the family’s West Kelowna acreage.
The family had made a major effort to find him, putting up around 200 posters from Peachland to Kelowna, offering the reward, and posting online about the search.
So, Bos said, when they got the call they were “super excited” about the prospect of their pet coming home and made plans to meet up with the caller.
“Then he asked for the reward, which we were fine in giving, but he requested it in an e-transfer. When he did that we asked for photographic proof that he even had the dog. We didn’t want to get scammed,” Bos said.
She said that’s when the call took a turn.
“The guy got really angry and said that he would call back in a month to see how badly we wanted our dog and said he would up it to $2,000 in order to get our dog back,” Bos recalled.
Bos said the caller threatened to shoot the dog before hanging up.
“We were quite upset that someone would threaten to hurt our dog and really angry that someone would do something like that to someone in such a vulnerable emotional position,” Bos said.
While the call was from a blocked number, Bos said the family’s telephone service provider was able to give the family a phone number which they passed on to RCMP.
RCMP confirmed to Global News that the police investigation led to a Calgary residence and police in the Okanagan asked the Calgary Police Service to follow up.
“At this time, we do not believe the dog was ever in the possession of the person who called and that this was an attempt to get the reward money the family has posted,” the RCMP said in an emailed statement.
At this point, RCMP said, no charges have been laid.
The apparent scam call left the family heartbroken again.
“Even though it sounded like a scam, we had some shred of hope that maybe our dog was there so we were pretty upset when Nanook wasn’t found,” Bos said.
The family is still offering the reward and hoping Nanook will be found.
“If anyone sees Nanook we want to hear the tips. Even if they are unsure,” Bos said.