Warning to potential pet owners

"Re-home puppy" scheme could cost you money and your personal information.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– It’s often difficult to resist a cute, cuddly face, but if you’re browsing online classified ads for a new pet, the Better Business Bureau says to be careful! A new so-called “re-home puppy” internet scheme could cost you money and your personal information, and that is upsetting some residents here in Western Massachusetts.

“The way the economy is, people are trying to find ways to do the dirtiest stuff to the hard working people,” Junior Sanabria of Springfield, told 22News

Here’s what to look out for: If a puppy owner says their dog needs a new home because they are moving to a foreign country, or dog breeders are offering pure breads at a inexpensive price, but they are never available for an in-person meeting; they only contact you through email.

Animal experts at Dakin Humane Society say it’s critical to meet your potential pet in-person. That way, you can see whether your personality matches theirs.

“A photograph on the Internet could be of any animal, so it could be misrepresenting the animal. It’s really important that you meet the animal in person before you sign a contract, before you pay adoption fees, before you purchase an animal,” Leslie Harris, Executive Director of Dakin Humane Society, told 22News.

Harris also advises you that a reputable dog breeder will take you through their home, let you see their kennels, and the puppy’s parents.  She also says that reputable breeders don’t usually advertise over the Internet, instead usually work on a referral basis.

The Better Business Bureau warns that those reputable breeders are not often eager for payment like the fake ones are in the Internet scheme.

Harris also urges you to remember that adopting a pet is like bringing in a new member of the family. There will be an adjustment period for both you and the pet. If you need help through the training or adjustment process you can contact Dakin Humane Society.

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