Don't Get Hooked: Online Pet Sales

Even though cyber Monday is long gone...lots of shoppers are still turning to the Internet to finish their wish lists.

But if you plan on purchasing a pet, going online is not your best bet.

A study released this week by the International Fund for Animal Welfare reveals that more than half of the puppies for sale online are likely living in puppy mills.

The BBB has some animal buying advice to help make sure that you....don't get hooked.

Mike Rohrer with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau says that unfortunately for some Arkansans...this word of warning comes too late.

"We had a call from the airport today...they're getting calls about people wanting to know when and where their pets are coming in," says Rohrer. "They're not getting the information. Some people are paying this money out and are supposed to have a pet delivered."

When puppy pics are posted online...rarely do they look like they were taken in a mill.

Puppy mills can use whatever pictures they want to market pets to an eager and unsuspecting public...assuming they have any actual pets at all.

To avoid getting hooked by a scam or an ill pet from a mill, pet purchases should be hands-on. Avoid buying from a distant seller. Free puppies if you pay shipping is usually a scam. And scammers love Western Union or money orders.

"If you're looking for a specific breed of dog you can look at a genuine breeder from our web," says Rohrer. You can find a legitimate company that does breed the dog you want."

"Here in state probably?"

" state," says Rohrer.

The BBB encourages Arkansans looking to buy a pet to visit a local shelter or animal rescue organization first.

Air date: December 12th, 2012