When looking to add a furry friend as a member of the family, look out for scammers selling mutts instead of purebred pups, county prosecutors warned Friday. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office released a series of tips for prospective dog owners to look out for ahead of buying a purebred dog, according to a news release Friday. New owners could easily be scammed into spending hundreds or thousands of dollars buying a dog that was said to be purebred, but isn’t. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, sellers can no longer give dogs, cats or rabbits with little to no information on the animal’s background. This includes breeders and pet shops selling animals that claim to be purebred, without supporting documentation. The punishment for doing so is a $500 fine. Sarah Ram, a dog owner in Canyon Country, has bred her dogs for friends and looked heavily into what steps to follow, according to the American Kennel Club’s standards. She agrees with tackling this scam tactic. While not an official breeder herself, she’s bred dogs for close friends who wanted dogs of the same temperament as her Australian cattle dogs. “You definitely want to vet the breeder really, really well,” she said Friday. Prospective dog owners need to “request the registration documents from a dog registry organization such as the American Kennel Club, Canine Kennel Club or the Continental Kennel Club.” This determines the dog’s status as a purebred or mutt. The District Attorney’s Office also recommends buyers to get a second opinion from an expert for a “non-recognized breed, such as a designer breed.” Lastly, meet with the seller and dog in person to look into the dog’s medical records and its housing. Ram said looking at how the dog is housed and taken care of by a breeder or seller are essential.