The discovery and bust of an alleged extortion ring involving dogs sends shock-waves through Omaha.
The dogs are safe now but authorities think the dogs were in danger.
The dogs are safe now but authorities say they were used to lure people into an alleged extortion plot.
Potential buyers tipped off police and humane society officers because of the aggressive nature of the sellers but also for the health of the dogs.
Tonight the Nebraska Humane Society gave us ways to help ensure dog sellers are on the up and up.
Nine dogs in all have been taken from the home where the alleged extortion ring operated. They range in size from a big eared Chihuahua to a St. Bernard mix.
The dogs are healthy if not well cared for but could face some health challenges in the future.
The best way to ensure any dog you want to buy is healthy is to ask a lot of questions.
Pam Wiese says, "You want make sure that story jives all the way down the line."
Pam Wiese with the Nebraska Humane Society says to see how the dog responds to the seller, ask about the reason for giving up the animal and ask to see veterinary records.
Another important aspect is to see where the animal lives but that could be problematic because of personal security concerns.
Pam Wiese says, "Maybe they could take a little cell phone video; here is the dog at home and here is where he is and he's running around and then meet in a public place and here is the dog. That may be a way you can work that out."
When you meet, before you buy the dog, observe it. Wiese says to touch the animal, check that its eyes appear bright and that the animal is perky.
If not, and you think the animal is being mis-represented, stolen or abused you can take action.
Pam Wiese says, "The best idea is to, if you can, extricate yourself and give us a call and say hey this is a really fishy situation and I'm worried about the animals."
Humane Society Officers can check out your concerns and it may lead to criminal charges.
Three of the four arrested have outstanding warrants in other states; 28-year old Melissa Aguilar-Gonzalez, 51-year old Judith Malpartida and 39-year old Gino Malpartida.
The fourth man; Obeli Escobar-Thomas was booked on obstruction charges.