More than 20 Chinese cat buyers were sent dead or sick rural kittens instead of the expensive cat breeds they had paid for online.
One of these buyers, a woman surnamed Wang, purchased an American shorthair kitten for 5,500 yuan ($848) from an online seller but was delivered a dead Chinese rural kitten instead, according to the South China Morning Post.
It was last month when Wang, from Huaian, Jiangsu Province, found the white American shorthair cat on 58.com and messaged the seller, who used the name “Love life, love pets,” on her WeChat account.
After being sent a video and photos of the kitten, Wang paid the 5,500 yuan purchase price, plus an extra 530 yuan ($81) for a vet check-up, through WeChat.
Wang was shocked when she found a dead Chinese rural kitten who had been without food and water for two days during shipping delivered at her home.
When contacted, the seller claimed the delivery company had made an error and said they would issue Wang a refund.
After 10 days without the promised reimbursement, she found the seller had blocked her on WeChat and was no longer reachable.
It was only by carrying out an investigation on the internet that Wang found she was only one of more than 20 buyers who had received dead or diseased kittens from a Shanghai-based seller instead of the expensive cat breeds they paid for.
Although the seller was reported to the police by Wang and the other victims, the authorities say they have not acted because the seller had not committed a crime because a cat was actually sent out in each case. Since the breed of cat is then at dispute, it is considered a civil matter and out of authorities’ hands.