The West Springfield Police Department has issued a warning after a number puppies have died.
Those puppies were recently purchased in a parking lot on Riverdale Road.
In this instance, people bought puppies in a parking lot and then found out they were very sick.
West Springfield Animal Control Officer Jessecah Gower said this happens all too often, and has the warning signs you need to look out for when buying a puppy.
"You weren't able to see the parents, you were given kind of a runaround, maybe your animal got sick you tried contacting the seller, and you're unable to get a hold of them at this point when they were easy to contact before. All red flags," said Gower.
The puppies in this case were sick with various illnesses including parvovirus which is very contagious.
"We got a call about a week ago regarding an individual that had purchased a puppy on Riverdale Road in a parking lot and his dog turned up to be very ill. A few days later, we received a second call about a second family, similar story, and then another and another," Gower noted.
After the story spread, others called with similar, yet unrelated stories.
One person told Western Mass News in an off-camera interview that she purchased a puppy from a West Springfield home and spent the entire next night in the animal emergency room.
The man who sold the dog to her told Western Mass News by phone that he has sold more than 50 German Shepherds, but did not know the puppies were sick. He said if he was told, he would have taken them back.
This case, Gower said, is unrelated, but unfortunately common.
Western Mass News asked Gower how many calls Animal Control has gotten about the parking lot sales.
"At this point we are unable to give you a number. It's still an ongoing investigation," Gower added.
If you think you may have fallen victim to this scam or a similar puppy selling scam, call your local animal control officer.
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