Animal lovers in Chongqing, China may be tempted to take home one of these adorable “tiger dogs” suddenly showing up for sale. Adorned with orange and black stripes that make them closely resemble tigers, the puppies are known to sell for about $41 from vendors selling the dogs in the park.

But don’t be fooled – there is no such thing as a tiger dog, and this racket is as cruel to animals as it is deceptive to buyers. Scammers are picking up stray puppies in the streets and spraying them with toxic orange and black paint to give the dogs their tiger-like appearances.

Many of the canine victims are winding up in rescue shelters in need of medical treatment because the chemical paint absorbs through their skin, making them sick. There, workers either wash the paint out or shave off the poor pups’ fur. And once the paint – and the novelty – wear off, how many scammed buyers will simply abandon the dogs, leaving back on the streets where they came from?

Animal advocates warn: If you see a supposed “tiger dog,” steer clear of the seller.