LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is warning people of a scam that targets animal lovers.

In what the office is calling the Animal Shelter Scam, con artists post photos of animals with false information of “high kill” shelters stating that the animal in the photo will die if they don’t receive money to save the animal. But the money collected doesn’t go to the care of the animal, agencies that shelter animals or to the adopting party or organization.

The DA’s office said scammers might contact victims for donations via social media, email, photo or even mail.

Before donating, the DA’s office suggests people verify that the organization soliciting funds is legitimate, double check that the animal exists and ask the sheltering agency what help has been provided and whether the animal is truly at risk of death.

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