Detectives in West Springfield are investigating the sale of sick puppies in which many of them have already died.
Western Mass News was told the puppies were sold in parking lots and that this issue is more common than you'd think.
West Springfield Animal Control Officer Jessecah Gower told Western Mass News a breeder has been selling sick puppies in a parking lot on Riverdale Road.
"We received a second call about a second family, similar story, and then another and another," said Gower.
"We are trying to pinpoint the origin of these animals [and] where they're coming from because they are very sick. Several of them have passed away. We'd like to stop this from continuing," Gower continued.
Gower said if you are going to buy a puppy from a breeder rather than adopt from a shelter, make sure you are going through a reputable breeder who can provide health records, show you the parent dogs, and give you something in writing.
"Exchanges in a parking lot with no information typically are not what we would consider a reputable breeder," Gower noted.
While the West Springfield Police Department has a wider investigation into backyard breeding and puppy mills, right now they are making sure to get the word out about people who bought either a Labrador or a German Shepherd in the parking lot on Riverdale Road.
"But certainly if you bought another breed and similar circumstances give us a call because it could be any breed," Gower explained.
While this particular seller is under investigation, there are many others on that list too.
Anyone who purchased a sick puppy in or around West Springfield is urged to contact West Springfield Animal Control Officer Jessecah Gower by calling 413-246-0993 and leave a message, or by emailing her at JGower@westspringfieldpolice.org.
Tonight on Western Mass News at 6 p.m. we'll tell you what red flags to look out for when buying a puppy.
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