Owner of pet newsletter calls new newsletter 'a scam'
METROPOLIS, Ill. - The click of the camera lens seems to be a soundtrack of sort for Lourdes Spencer's life. She takes pictures every day and the dogs and cats found at area shelters are her subjects.
"I don't want to see any of them euthanized for any reason," she said of putting the pictures in a newsletter she created a year ago.
That newsletter, she says, is made possible thanks to advertisers. But, she was confused recently when those advertisers told her they had already paid up. Some told her they paid, in fact, for the next 3 months. When she followed up with a visit to several businesses she was shown a newsletter that was very similar, she says too similar to hers.
Her newsletter is titled, 'Paws 4 A Cause.' That letter was 'A Cause 4 Paws.'
"The title, supporter of the month, the format, everything down to the wire, it's the same," she said.
Owner Josh Duncan says that is just the way it turned out.
"You can't come up with a whole bunch of names like that," he said of the moniker.
During a phone interview with Local 6, Duncan says it was not a scam, just a way to help animals.
"These people did not get scammed in any way shape or form. I approached them with an advertisement and if they knew about my competitor I told them specifically that was not us."
But one advertiser who appears in Duncan's 'A Cause 4 Paws' says she was confused.
"He switched the words around and I didn't realize it. I thought it was from the same company."
"I've already spent the money towards that and I'm going to have to wait awhile to do that again," she continued, saying she did not have additional funds to advertise with Paws 4 A Cause.
"That's the only way we pay our print bill," Spencer said of the revenue she expects to lose, adding if the dollars did not come, the operation would fold, "That's it."
A major sticking point, according to law enforcement, is the photos Josh Duncan used. They were pictures he says he got from area shelters. He tells Local 6 he did not believe they were copyrighted. But Lourdes Spencer says they were copyrighted and they were hers.
Spencer has gotten a lawyer and says she plans to pursue a civil lawsuit. For now, her newsletter is on hold.