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Animal Advocates: puppies on Craigslist sold to die; Local seller caught

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EL PASO, Texas-- El Paso animal advocates said a man selling puppies far too young put them in jeopardy of dying.

The Humane Society of El Paso is now caring for two puppies sold on Craigslist.

The seller was caught in the act by El Paso Animal Control officers and given five citations, three for selling puppies under 8 weeks old and two for roadside sales.

The city is not able to release the name of the seller who received the citations.

It is illegal in the city of El Paso to sell or adopt an animal that is under 8 weeks old.

The Craigslist seller claimed the puppies were 9 weeks old, but veterinarians discovered the pups were actually only 4 weeks old.

Betty Hoover, the director of the Humane Society of El Paso, said that is far too young to be separated from their mother.

"Basically these backyard breeders, when they sell puppies this young, are selling them to die. Puppies should be with their mother's until they are 6 weeks old, preferably 8 weeks," said Hoover.

The puppies were brought to the Humane Society and were very sick.

"We were crying for the dogs," one owner told KFOX14.

The two women who bought the teacup poodle pups said they paid $180 each for the dogs.

"I was worried he might not make it, that he was malnourished," said one of the owners.

They showed KFOX14 the paperwork the seller gave them, which indicated it was from the Humane Society and that the dogs had received all proper vaccinations.

When the puppies became sick, the women brought them to the Humane Society of El Paso, and discovered the paperwork was fake.

"This particular gentleman is apparently distributing paperwork indicating these animals have had vaccinations and are somehow tied to the Humane society and that is not the case," said Hoover.

Animal Control officers got involved and accompanied the women to meet the seller in a parking lot.

It was there that the exchange happened and officers were able to cite the seller.

"We want to thank the officers for helping us with the puppies," said one of the owners.

The puppies are now in the care of the Humane Society of El Paso's foster program, and when they are healthy and able to be adopted, they will be returned to the women who bought them.

"They might not make it, so we are worried about the puppies," said one of the owners.

The women who bought the puppies are now warning others not to buy animals on Craigslist.

"Never. We will never do that again," said one of the women. "Those people don't care about the dogs. They just want the money."

Animal Services and the Humane Society also remind the public not to buy animals off of Craigslist, as it supports backyard breeding. Advocates said it incentivizes people to sell animals for cash and contributes to the mistreatment of animals and overpopulation.

"There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who are trying to make money by breeding and selling puppies," said Hoover.

They said there are plenty of animals of all ages at the shelter that need a forever home.

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If you think you may have purchased an animal from this seller, or encounter anyone selling underage animals, you can call 842-1000 to report it.

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