Fraudsters shave kittens, sell them on as Sphynx cats
Canadian con artists are shaving common breeds of kittens in attempt to pass them off as naturally hairless Sphynx and sell them for hundreds of dollars.
Sphynx cats are a comparatively expensive variety of feline, due to the numerous health issues they are prone to falling victim to early in life which makes breeding them a hassle.
Animal cruelty organisations Calgary Humane Society and the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are investigating the complaints, which have now been made by at least three people from Alberta, in southwestern Canada.
One of those scammed, JoAnne Dyck, told CBC News that she paid C$700 ($737) for a new Sphynx kitty, only for it to start sprouting fur.
Before that, the cat was taken to a vet because it was refusing contact with humans - and the vet told her that was probably due to a large amount of small cuts on its skin, which had left it in huge discomfort.
The tiny abrasions, which were likely to have been caused by a razor, had left its tail with such a bad state that the vet even considered amputating it.
Investigations into the scammers have been made more difficult by their refusal to be visited by buyers and only agreeing to deliveries.