An Argentinian man thought he paid $150 at an outdoor market in Buenos Aires on a toy poodle puppy — only to find out he was duped by con artists who pumped a ferret full of steroids until it resembled a dog, according to Noticias Argentina.
The man found out he had a chemically enlarged rodent instead of man’s best friend after taking the animal to a vet for vaccinations.
The hustle is apparently a popular one at the giant La Salada market, where expensive toy poodles can net a hefty profit.
“They said it was a chihuahua, and they sold it for $487; when (the owner) left they found out it was a Brazilian rat,” said one shopper who knew one of the victims.
By administering steroids from an early age and combing out their fur, vendors are able to achieve a close resemblence.
Toy Poodles can go for as much as $1,000 in the United States, while a ferret generally costs less than $100.