Anonymous donor surprises family with long-awaited puppy after encounter with adoption scam

Animals and Wildlife

(WTNH) — Kristin Kossack just picked up her husky puppy “Ghost” on Sunday, but it was a different puppy that put Kristin in the news a couple of weeks ago.

That puppy was Oliver, if that’s his real name. Kossack paid $2,300 for Oliver in what turned out to be an online scam. Oliver never arrived, and the family’s puppy budget was gone.

“We felt taken advantage of. I felt ashamed,” Kossack remembered. “I felt stupid that I had made a mistake like that.”

RELATED: Broken puppy promises: How to avoid scams when trying to adopt a pet online

Moments after the original piece aired, News 8 got an email reading,

I just watched a story about a lady that got scammed when she tried to get a puppy and thought what a horrible thing to happen. I would like to offer to help her get a puppy.” So, I wrote to Kossack about the offer.

Anonymous News 8 viewer

“I woke up to your email and it was, obviously very moving,” said Kossack.

The offer came from a very generous Waterbury family that wants to remain anonymous. We warned them the dog they wanted wasn’t cheap, but they said they wanted to help. So we spent a week and a half sending emails back and forth to make this work.

First, Kossack had to find a new puppy. That turned out to be easy once she walked into the right pet store.

“I swear to you, I locked eyes with this dog,” she said. “He pops up, runs over to the glass, starts licking the glass.”

She kept Ghost a secret until the anonymous Waterbury donors paid the bill. She didn’t want to risk disappointing her kids again.

Everything came together over this past weekend, however. With Ghost tucked out of sight in her car, it was time for Kristin to surprise her three kids.

“Oh my God, a new dog!,” said one of the kids in her homemade video of the surprise. The kids were obviously thrilled at the new addition to the family.

“It was the best possible ending to the worst scenario,” Kossack said. “I mean, it was wonderful. It really was.”

It is important to remember how this all started with “Oliver.” Kossack paid $2,300 in gift cards to those online scammers. Experts say you should never pay using gift cards; they can’t be traced.

Also, ask for a Zoom or FaceTime call to verify the dog is real. There are bad people out there looking to take from you. Luckily, there are also very good people out there willing to give.

“There really aren’t words to thank this family for doing that for us.”

So maybe a child’s smile will do instead. Kossack sent a photo of her daughter Peyton beaming with joy as Ghost rode with her to school Monday morning.

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