SPRING VALLEY, Calif — The Spring Valley Swap Meet is wildly popular; thousands and thousands of shoppers come every weekend. You can buy some pretty cool things but can't buy a "family pet."
Outside the gates and under a nearby freeway overpass, you often see roadside vendors; selling food and drinks, luggage, boots...and puppies.
These are unlicensed sales, and it's against the law in California to sell those little guys as adorable as they might be.
A woman holding a puppy was asked, "How much are you selling for?" "$600," the unidentified woman responded.
That was a cell phone conversation on Saturday. A different car was approached the next day, and a different response was given when a news camera was pointed at the sellers.
"How much are you selling them for?" This was met with a shake of the head and a refusal to be interviewed; then, the rear door was pushed down.
Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, and Huskies were offered for sale here on Sunday, all illegally.
Several blocks up the road, CBS 8 spoke with the manager of the swap meet, Chris Derr. "I don't like it because it makes the swap meet look bad; we go through a lot of effort to make sure everything is following California state laws, and when people set up on the street and do an illegal activity, it makes it look like we're compliant with that."
Buyers, beware when you're looking for a pet.
Nina Thompson of the San Diego Humane Society said, “It’s always a red flag if somebody's selling a pet from the trunk of their car or if you're meeting in a parking lot."
Always look for paperwork. "It may be a sad surprise for you weeks down the line; your puppy may have some sort of disease; they may not have been vaccinated properly."
People are arguing about puppies, kittens, and bunnies being sold illegally in hundreds of posts online in less than a week on Reddit.
The question was asked if anything could be done about it.
"How sad!" "That's been happening for decades." "I would never trust those people." "Please report them."
Kevin Torres is adopting a new dog, Solo, from a foster situation. Would he buy a dog from the back of a car? No way. "It's a shame. I don't know if they're vaccinated or have all their shots. When you purchase them, it encourages people to keep doing it."
Animal Control does cite offenders.
This is a developing story.
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