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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!

Comments

Comments

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.

LT

Dogs who come from legitimate shelters can be the BEST dogs ever. We've had four mixed breeds. All absolutely wonderful. How are these dogs being stolen? Being left outside alone?

Karen

What a way to stop people from adopting wonderful, loving and healthy pets from shelters. Some of the things you say are ignorant and outrageous. Honestly you make me sick with the things you say. Paying a higher price guarantees more love - wake up fool - love is in the heart no matter how much or how little one pays. Your form of adopting is conditional - woohoo bring it back if it gets sick...loving a pet is "unconditional" like a child a responsibility that comes from the heart.

EllenM

I have grown up with shelter rescued dogs and they were my buddies growing up. We got our black lab mix from the local shelter at about 6 weeks old, he is 12 now. My SIL got a chocolate lab akc registered dog from somewhere, we warned her - you are pregnant and have a one year old, do not get a lab. Needless to say we ended up with him at 6 mons., at 5yrs old had to put him down due to pancreatic cancer. Tore my kids up, he was a great dog but nothing to save him. give me shelter dogs any day.

LynneN

Extremely poor excuse to legitimize puppy mills. The object is to put them out of business, thus no more suffering dogs. You can always purchase a pure bred from a reputable breeder, but the main thing is to do your homework. There are bad shelters out there too. Most good ones screen their clients to make sure the animals fit into the family, meaning they want you to bring every one who will live with that dog to the shelter to bond with the dog. Their object is to find forever homes for these animals. We got our current little fur girl from a wonderful shelter in Paw Paw, MI. We're near Chicago, IL. She was about 10 weeks old when we got her, but I had to fill out a three page on-line form and then we had to travel to MI twice. Once to meet her and the second time to pick her up. She is an absolute joy. I would never get an animal from any place else, and I've had them from a breeder before.

LynneN

Sorry Bridgette, but I agree with the majority, yours is an extremely poor excuse to legitimize puppy mills. The object is to put them out of business, thus no more suffering dogs. Don't you think there are guidelines already in place which they aren't following? You can always purchase a pure bred from a reputable breeder, but that's still not going to guarantee you are going to get a trouble-free dog. The main thing is to do your homework. There are bad shelters out there too. Most good ones screen their clients to make sure the animals fit into the family, meaning they want you to bring EVERYONE who will live with that dog to the shelter to bond with the dog. Their object is to find forever homes for these animals. We got our current little fur girl from a wonderful shelter in Paw Paw, MI. They foster out their animals to homes in the area. We're near Chicago, IL. She was about 10 weeks old when we got her, but I had to fill out a three page on-line questionaire and then we had to travel to MI twice. Once to meet her and the second time to pick her up. She is an absolute joy. I would never get an animal from any place else but a shelter and I've had a dog from a breeder before. I've heard so many people comment, you'll never get a better more loyal dog than a rescue dog. It's almost as if they know you saved their life and they never let you forget how grateful they are for that.

Andrea C. Gomez

Bridgette's comment should be flagged as spam as it is obvious this has been posted by a paid person working for a pro pet store organization. People who link to the aspca are true animal lovers who car about the cruelty that goes on in the pet store industry. We don't buy puppies from stores because we don't support cruelty, period! There's so many dogs and cats out there in the shelters, waiting for a new home and we are here to give them one...Does that hurt your pocket Bridgette? Well, you hurt innocent animals and finally you will get what you and your employers deserve.

Andrea C. Gomez

Bridgette's comment should be flagged as spam as it is obvious this has been posted by a paid person working for a pro pet store organization. People who link to the aspca are true animal lovers who car about the cruelty that goes on in the pet store industry. We don't buy puppies from stores because we don't support cruelty, period! There's so many dogs and cats out there in the shelters, waiting for a new home and we are here to give them one...Does that hurt your pocket Bridgette? Well, you hurt innocent animals and finally you will get what you and your employers deserve.

Andrea C. Gomez

Bridgette's comment should be flagged as spam as it is obvious this has been posted by a paid person working for a pro pet store organization. People who link to the aspca are true animal lovers who car about the cruelty that goes on in the pet store industry. We don't buy puppies from stores because we don't support cruelty, period! There's so many dogs and cats out there in the shelters, waiting for a new home and we are here to give them one...Does that hurt your pocket Bridgette? Well, you hurt innocent animals and finally you will get what you and your employers deserve.

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