Internet scammers taking advantage of Narwhal the ‘unicorn’ rescue puppy

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A small puppy in Missouri, who gained viral fame for having a tail growing out of his forehead, is reportedly being used by scammers online. 

According to TMZ, the puppy—appropriately named Narwhal—has drawn the attention of people looking to profit off do-gooders who want to assist with the pup’s mounting medical bills. (For what it’s worth, doctors say Narwhal is a perfectly happy, normal puppy aside from the extra tail, and there’s no need to remove the appendage.) 

Rochelle Steffen, the founder of the shelter that rescued Narwhal, told TMZ that ever since the puppy went viral, a bevy of fake accounts run by scammers have been popping up, asking people for donations. Steffen said she’s already reported several of the scams to Facebook and Instagram to get them shut down for good.

Steffen told TMZ that several people have already donated to the Missouri shelter where Narwhal is awaiting adoption. In addition to the nearly $4,000 people have sent, the shelter—Mac’s Mission Animal Rescue—set up an official donation page on its Facebook account. Narwhal’s medical care is basically taken care of, Steffen said, so any additional money raised will go toward other shelter pups. 

Narwhal was found last Saturday in the freezing cold with the beginnings of frostbite on one of his paws, according to CNN. Shelter workers say he’s recovering quickly with the frostbite healing.

“The unicorn face tail does not bother Narwhal and he never slows down just like any normal puppy,” Mac’s Mission wrote in a Facebook post. “He seems completely healthy other than some usual puppy worms he got meds for.” 

While it’s not immediately clear what happened to the pup before he got rescued, shelter personnel said he’s not ready to be adopted yet. He will likely be listed for adoption, they said, after he’s a bit older and has been properly vaccinated. 

“Everyone is super interested in him,” a spokesperson for the shelter told CNN. But “we are hopeful they are seeing the other available dogs as well!”

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Alexandra Samuels

Alexandra Samuels

Alexandra Samuels is a political reporter at the Texas Tribune and contributor to the Daily Dot, where she started as an intern covering politics in the summer of 2016. She enjoys Marvel movies, baking, and reading murder-mystery novels.