Morgan Buffalari issued a warning to other dog owners after scammers tried to take advantage of her when her dog went missing.

Buffalari’s dog Mulligan went missing nearly three weeks ago, leading her to search high and low for him. Like any dog owner, she did everything in her power to spread the word about her missing dog in the hopes of someone finding him.

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During her search, Buffalari received text messages from a person claiming to have found her dog. The texts turned sinister, however, when they refused to give her dog back unless she paid them. The texter went so far as to threaten to sell her dog if she did not pay.

She decided not to pay the person since there was no proof. She explained, “They never sent a picture anything like that.”

Debbie Allen, Animal Service Manager for the Berkeley Animal Center, said, “I think it’s becoming more common these days. One of the best things to do would be to ask them to send you a picture. Like time-stamped and dated for the current time. Or she could ask to meet at a shelter or vet office.”

Buffalari reported the incident to local police and is still searching for her lost dog. She wants her story to help spread awareness about scammers who may try to take advantage of desperate pet owners.

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