THOUSANDS of Japanese have been swindled in a scam in which they were sold Australian and British sheep and told they were poodles. Flocks of sheep were marketed as fashionable accessories - available at $1600 each - by a company called Poodles as Pets. A real poodle retails for twice that much in Japan. Related story The Other Side: More weird and wonderful tales ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â» The scam was uncovered when Japanese film star Maiko Kawamaki went on a talk-show and wondered why her new pet would not bark or eat dog food. She was crestfallen when told it was a sheep. Hundreds of other women got in touch with police to say they feared their new "poodle" was also a sheep. One couple said they became suspicious when they took their "dog" to have its claws trimmed and were told it had hooves. Police believe there could be 2000 people affected by the scam.