MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is warning future pet owners to stay away from attempting to buy puppies on Craigslist or online.
The Sheriff's Office has received a rash of reports of people losing hundreds of dollars trying to pay for dogs out-of-state that don't exist.
Scammers are preying on people who want to adopt breed specific animals. Victims have reported paying what has amounted to hundreds of dollars in adoption fees, transportation costs, and insurance money.
Be suspicious of any out-of-state seller. There are reputable rescue groups and breeders out there, many you can find through the American Kennel Club or the Colorado Breed Rescue Network. Ask for references, and detailed information about their operation including photos and videos of the dog you are purchasing. Legitimate sellers will give you all the costs up front. If they keep coming back and asking for more money, it's probably a SCAM.
There are also several places within Mesa County where you can rescue animals including the Mesa County Animal Services Shelter, Grand Rivers Humane and the Roice-Hurst Humane Society.