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Warning: Pet Flipping on the Rise

Friday, July 19, 2013 - 2:00pm
Blue leash on the ground

A disturbing new trend—“pet flipping”—has been getting a lot of attention this week.

Pet flipping involves a criminal picking up a pet, either by stealing the animal or claiming to be the pet parent of a missing pet, and then quickly selling the animal for a profit. Is your blood boiling yet? It gets worse!

According to Time, pet flipping is on the rise in cities including Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The stolen dogs are often purebred and very valuable. In March, an Indianapolis man was arrested after a three-month investigation found he had been stealing dogs for years, mostly purebred German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. 

“Many of these pets are housed in puppy mill-like conditions until they can be flipped—no food or water, caged and sick,” Dawn Contos, of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, said in an interview following the arrest.

For tips on finding a lost pet, please visit our pet care section.

We'll be on Katie on Monday, July 22 to talk about pet flipping. Check your local listings and tune in!

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madelyn

I am a Rescue volunteer and I would NOT LET YOU ADOPT ANY RESCUE DOG after your story.

Marcia

I agree with Janice. I think the excuse is a pretty lame one. The only dogs I have ever had were shelter animals and some came with "issues" but they were definitely worth working through those issues. I also disagree that banning pet store sales will not stop puppy mills. The fewer outlets these puppy mills have to sell their puppies at, the less money they make. It may get some of them to stop if their profits are much less. However, it is going to take awhile to get rid of all the puppy mills out there and shutting down pet store sales is just one way toward accomplishing that.

Dana

Bridgette, please educate yourseslf on puppy mills. They are legal and they are "legislated". You saying that you are ok with that means you are ok with dogs living their entire lives in cages, never knowing what is like to live in a home and be loved, never to be able to run and play, never to do a lot of things. These dogs have no lives except to sit day after day in a cage waiting to breed. They don't receive appropriate medical care or any at all. I can go on and on. If you ban selling puppies in pet stores, the mills will start going out of business. Don't you get it? Please, before putting ignorant comments out there, educate yourself. There are also tons of puppies in rescues and shelters. Every one of my dogs is a rescue and I wouldnt have it any other way. By the way there is no way to be completely sure of your mixed breed dog unless DNA is done. And even that isnt completely accurate. And by the way, many of the dogs we took into our shelter that were given up..were by people who bought them at pet stores. They werent screened properly and nobody cares who buys these dogs. And many of them are given up or suffer fates you don't want to know about. And these...are facts from someone who has experienced it many times.

kelsey

Another reason to adopt a mutt from a shelter and make sure they are spayed or neutered! Never leave your animals unsupervised!!

KIM

SADLY ~ STOLEN ANIMALS ALSO END UP AT FACILITIES THAT BUY ANIMALS TO CONDUCT EXPERIMENTS ON THEM. KEEP IN MIND THAT MOST OF THEM DON'T REQUIRE ANY PROOF YOU ARE THE RIGHTFUL OWNER WHEN THEY ACCEPT THEM! MY PET CAME FROM A SHELTER, BUT IS NOW SPAYED, M.CHIPPED, AND SUPERVISED WHENEVER OUTSIDE MY HOME.

deb

Puppy mill pets are suffering because people like Bridgette think they are better pets. Any "puppy" wheter shelter dog or not, will become a good pet with love and training. Yes older dogs have issues due to the stupidity of man, but most pet shops dont sell grown dogs. Most shelters will let you try out a pet for a week b4 commiting or not.
You also need to be honest with the shelter in your explanation of what YOU want in a pet, where you live, how often you can play with your pet and a 100 other details needed to see if that pet is right for you.
Every pet I have owned has been adopted, and they ALL turned out great, and yes they do all have different personalities, and behavior..dogs are not cut from the same cloth.

Anonymous

Thank you for this comment and DITTO to everything you said. I couldnt have said it better.

Kelly

A person who paid more for a pet store pet is more likely to take better care of it? Why would we even dignify a statement THAT STUPID with a serious response?

Robbi

I tape the Katie Show daily & was looking forward to finding out about "Pet Flipping." Unfortunately, at the time the segment aired, a Weather Alert for Southern California including specific county commentary, which was "run over" the main part of the segment :( I only heard about the lady in Indiana's experience to the end. I would like to know how this "flipping" starts.

JH

Many are arguing pet shop vs shelter. These are "rescues" flipping dogs, stealing dogs. Filling that supply/demand that shelters/rescues aren't. The theft of dogs has increased drastically, as has shipping dogs from other parts of the country and importing dogs from other countries to fill demand because those spayed/neutered pets don't have puppies.

I have several that were on their last day in the shelter when pulled - 2 we weren't sure we'd get there in time for. I've seen other good homes turned down with shelter/rescue dogs which drives a demand for breeders. The theft of dogs that end up far from their home - these dogs had help and didn't get there alone. GA to TX. MO to SC. UK to OR. TN to MI. Lots of dogs. It's purebreds being stolen for demand because those in shelters are represented poorly, if at all. They're not effective getting shelter dogs into homes.

I looked for 3 years for a Doberman. When I'd look on petfinder - most weren't Doberman they were black and tan shorthair dogs. Those that were Doberman "just left" or were reclaimed. I looked on craigslist - when they come up they didn't last. I finally, after 3 years, bought from someone on Facebook. She's a great dog, absolutely trustworthy and did not deny a shelter dog a home - because, reportedly, they all had homes and then some.

And none of this cuts the theft of dogs.

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