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Toy Poodle Scam
April 8, 2013 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Ferret-Poodle Scam With enough cosmetic modifications, it is possible to (profitably) pass off a ferret as a toy poodle.
posted by zscore (55 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interestingly enough, on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this weekend they discussed a similar scam concerning passing off sheep as poodles.

Oy with the poodles already!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:38 AM on April 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Given that the photo on the right appears to be the lovechild of some terrifying demon hellspawn and an albino Rainbow Bright sprite I'd chalk this one solely in the "buyer is an idiot" column.
posted by phunniemee at 10:38 AM on April 8, 2013 [28 favorites]


I'm not sure what delights me more: the fact that the Daily Mail published a guide to the differences between ferrets and dogs, or the actual content of that guide, which is impossible to read without hearing it in the same ridiculous Spanish accent that John Cleese used to tell us that a llama has two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:39 AM on April 8, 2013 [19 favorites]


I thought the preferred term was 'foodle.'
posted by box at 10:40 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd rather have a ferret.
posted by miyabo at 10:41 AM on April 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ferrets are way better than toy poodles anyway.
posted by slkinsey at 10:43 AM on April 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


I agree with miyabo, the buyer came out ahead because, well, Poodle.
posted by HuronBob at 10:43 AM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


What boggles my mind is that this was somehow profitable. I was under the impression that it was actually more difficult to breed ferrets than dogs (for one thing, I've heard that female ferrets can die if they go into heat and there's no suitable male available). And then you have to feed them steroids and groom them into looking like poodles, a feat I would not have previously believed possible. How could it ever have been easier or cheaper to do this than to just breed some toy poodles?
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:44 AM on April 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Without seeing the photo (phunnieme's description is spot on), I would picture a ferret on steroids to look like an otter. It doesn't, but nor does it look anything like a puppy. I guess it has paws and carnivore teeth, which brings it closer than a sheep to a poodle.
posted by Fig at 10:44 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can tell by the nose... Ferrets smell terrible. Also, poodles generally don't crawl up the drapes upside down and backwards because they're bored.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:47 AM on April 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


This bait-and-switch is almost as bad as the time I discovered one of my OKcupid dates was an orangutan. Fortunately the dinner only cost me $50 rather than $150, and she was a fascinating conversationalist so I didn't feel cheated.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:48 AM on April 8, 2013 [19 favorites]


Giving the little bastards steroids is almost as bad as giving them meth. The last thing we need is a ferret that can win the Tour De France or hit a bunch of homeruns.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:48 AM on April 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


I can't imagine a ferret that went through all that to look poodlesque would be particularly sane.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just the same with dogs as with clothes or electronics, anyone who goes to places like La Salada pretending to buy the original goods is asking to be ripped off. As for profitability, no idea how the breeding and raising of the critters go, but in the video there was mention of sales for around USD500 per "puppy" (at current official exchange rate). If you know what you're doing ferret-wise, that's a tidy sum for scammers here.
posted by Iosephus at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2013


So someone has updated the Mexican pet legend.
posted by TedW at 10:50 AM on April 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, the sheep story is a bust, so I wonder how much credence to give this.
posted by darksasami at 10:50 AM on April 8, 2013


Salesman: Babies! Who wants-a babies?
Homer: Wait, this is just a shaved puppy.
Salesman: I can see you know babies.
posted by mcmile at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


This bait-and-switch is almost as bad as the time I discovered one of my OKcupid dates was an orangutan.

I assume you guys went out based on the high personality match percentage?
posted by phunniemee at 10:52 AM on April 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well, the sheep story is a bust, so I wonder how much credence to give this.

Oh crap, really? Dammit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:00 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can someone provide me with a "3. Profit!!!" diagram for this?
posted by goethean at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2013


Yes, there's also the urban legend aspect. I could much more easily imagine some fool went to one of these places to buy what he thought was a well bred puppy and got stuck with some poor mongrel that had suffered heavy cosmetic fixing, then in the retelling this got worse and mixed with the old legend (I think we had this about puppy=rat many years ago around here too, but I'm very fuzzy on it right now).
posted by Iosephus at 11:04 AM on April 8, 2013


The only thing that surprises me about this story is that it didn't take place in Florida. I mean, just look at it! This story is practically tailor-made to have happened in Florida.
posted by ErikaB at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2013 [23 favorites]


I can sort of imagine a ferret on steroids going through my children's stuffed toys, ripping them up one by one, the same way Bishop done got did at the end of Aliens.
posted by phaedon at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2013


Seriously?
posted by Leezie at 11:07 AM on April 8, 2013


ErikaB: Your comment made me laugh very loud at work! And yes, this screams Broward county.
posted by roboton666 at 11:11 AM on April 8, 2013


Not housebroken either :(
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:12 AM on April 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


With enough cosmetic modifications, it is possible to (profitably) pass off a ferret as a toy poodle.

"I'm still putting the tuck in the Airedale, then I've got the frogs to let out."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:14 AM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Please don't let this be a hoax. The ferret picture looks so cute; like it just got out of the dryer with no fabric softener (an actual problem with ferrets of course).
posted by Mitheral at 11:21 AM on April 8, 2013


Oh crap, really? Dammit.

Well, it got play on NPR at least twice, so I wouldn't feel too bad about it.
posted by darksasami at 11:21 AM on April 8, 2013


You can bet it has happened in Florida and we just haven't heard about it yet.
posted by blucevalo at 11:24 AM on April 8, 2013


I saw this story yesterday, but by way of Daily Mail, who decided to label ferrets as "Brazilian rats," which either indicates 1) Daily Mail readers aren't expected to know what a ferret is, or 2) ferrets fed steroids and fluffed up to look like dogs didn't seem off-putting enough.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:47 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can tell by the nose... Ferrets smell terrible.

A well cared for ferret will have a mild musky scent that is really very pleasant, imho. From what I've read, many ferret owners enjoy the scent.
posted by DarkForest at 11:49 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, the old ferretty-poodley-switchy-changey. Back when I was a boy we called those things Perrets. And they tasted like chicken.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:53 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


What kind of a weasel would do such a thing?
posted by MuffinMan at 12:00 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]



I can't imagine a ferret that went through all that to look poodlesque would be particularly sane.


Have you ever met a ferret that was particularly sane?
posted by ennui.bz at 12:07 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


While we're on the topic of in/sane ferrets, you guys know about Ferret Legging, right? People be crazy, yo.
posted by phunniemee at 12:12 PM on April 8, 2013


blucevalo: "You can bet it has happened in Florida and we just haven't heard about it yet."

I'm sure the ferret was sold to Florida Man.
posted by exogenous at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2013


I could much more easily imagine some fool went to one of these places to buy what he thought was a well bred puppy and got stuck with some poor mongrel that had suffered heavy cosmetic fixing, then in the retelling this got worse and mixed with the old legend...

Sounds like one of the running gags in The Good Soldier Ċ vejk.
posted by ovvl at 12:35 PM on April 8, 2013


Longpuppy is looooooooong.
posted by scalefree at 12:42 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can see how the ferret might look like a dog, to someone who has never actually seen a real dog.
posted by Mister_A at 1:21 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can see how the ferret might look like a dog, to someone who has never actually seen a real dog.

Yeah, that's the best thing! It's like the only interactions the guy had ever had with any dog were with this little fella.
posted by phunniemee at 1:38 PM on April 8, 2013


I should add: that picture is the first google image result for "angry bichon frise".
posted by phunniemee at 1:39 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope that the buyers realized that something was wrong when their "poodle" was caught trying to hide the microwave behind the couch.
posted by Silly Ashles at 2:15 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was under the impression that it was actually more difficult to breed ferrets than dogs (for one thing, I've heard that female ferrets can die if they go into heat and there's no suitable male available).

The process of breeding ferrets becomes remarkably more straightforward if you have a male ferret on hand.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:05 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


What gets me is that according to the article, a woman complains she was also a victim of this scam, only she thought she was buying a chihuahua.

The toy poodle mix up is bad enough, but how in the world do you mistake a ferret, even one on steroids, for a chihuahua?!
posted by misha at 4:49 PM on April 8, 2013


how in the world do you mistake a ferret, even one on steroids, for a chihuahua?!

It's a well known fact that ferrets love shitty Mexican food.
posted by phunniemee at 5:04 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Toy poodles are described as sweet, cheerful, perky and lively, and they love to be around people.

My grandparents had a poodle named Brutus when I was a toddler and it was grumpy, sullen, and three legged from a long ago car accident. His didn't particularly like people, especially not toddlers like me that had the gall to root around in his food dish and then stick their chubby little fists into this throat when he tried to growl at them to teach them manners. He was delighted when during Christmas time the humans brought a tree into the house for him to pee on, but the joy was short lived before fencing was put up to prevent it.
posted by foxfirefey at 5:22 PM on April 8, 2013


Oh sure, you can all laugh, but back in the day before Internet and YouTube, these kind of zoological scams happened all the time. I'm a little embarrassed to tell it now, but once I thought I was buying a cat and it turned out to be a loaf of bread. (It was tasty tho.)
posted by madamjujujive at 5:25 PM on April 8, 2013 [4 favorites]



This bait-and-switch is almost as bad as the time I discovered one of my OKcupid dates was an orangutan.


Oook! Oook!
posted by ocschwar at 6:57 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Judging by the hair, I'll name that lil' guy Ferret Fawcett.

I'll show myself out, thanks.
posted by xedrik at 11:52 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love you MeFi!
posted by zscore at 8:08 AM on April 9, 2013


So it's just the one then? and there's only the one picture of it? No one could get footage of it?

Seems legit.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:24 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, Sir, I see you are a man of discerning tastes. Perhaps I could interest you in this mermaid from Fiji!?

A rare Cornell rhinoceros?

My very own mountain lion!

Too much?

Perhaps this miniature lion would be more suitable.

No?

I am sure I have someth--where are you going?

Wait!

This is no ordinary lamp!
posted by misha at 9:39 AM on April 10, 2013


Ok, foxfirefey, I've worked through all the permutations of missing limbs, and can't figure it out. So, in the name of Science, how does a three-legged poodle pee on a tree?
posted by veedubya at 12:08 PM on April 10, 2013


Ok, foxfirefey, I've worked through all the permutations of missing limbs, and can't figure it out. So, in the name of Science, how does a three-legged poodle pee on a tree?

I don't know Brutus, but it seems to me that if a dog pees by lifting one leg, a 3 legged dog missing a hind leg would just pee out the nonexisisting leg.
posted by phunniemee at 12:14 PM on April 10, 2013


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