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!

Add new comment




Bridgette is probably a pet store owner who sells puppy mill dogs.


Bridgette is probably a pet store owner who sells puppy mill dogs.


There is a good chance that many puppy mill pedigree pups are actually in worse health than shelter pets . The momma forced to breed continuously draining her health and certainly the puppies she bears . Sorry about your store byut it is just an avenue for people like these to continue what they do . There are millions of dogs waiting for a home . Things are in place now to determine if a dog is suitable for adoption before he is adopted.

david Reeves

they don't want you to get your pet from a shelter because they want you to get it from a pet store where they buy them from puppy mills,,, what a dumb$%^ ,, one of mine is a shelter dog and one I bought from a man who breed mini aussie's but I went to his house and checked out the mother and father and his brothers and sisters it wasn't a puppy mill,, and we are trying to adopt a deaf Catahoula leopard hound right now from a shelter,,, Bridgette your in for the money you own a pet store,, and you and all of us know your dogs come from a puppy mill,,,

jim a

Thank you for writing your recent post about 'dog flipping' and bringing this alarming trend out into the open. My name is Jim Allen and I'm passionate about dog safety. So much so, that I've developed a product that will essentially put these pet thieves out of commission, and give our dogs freedom back.

StayBoy™ Lock is, for all intent and purpose, a state-of-the-art combination lock, FOR YOUR DOG. We carry a key for our car, a lock for our bike, yet disregard our furry family members. Not because we don't care, but because there's been nothing on the market that solves this concern. Until now...

I just launched a Kickstarter Campaign ( ) to put this much needed solution into full production and I'm respectfully requesting your consideration in sharing this solution with your followers.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions and I earnestly look forward to your response and feedback.


Jim Allen

Susan Major

If pet shops can't sell pets less dogs will be bred because there will won't be a market for them. It might be worse for a while as puppy mills kill or dump their dogs but it will get better. What we have to do is get rid of puppy mills. We also have to educate people that spaying and neutering their pets is a good thing. Go to a dog show and talk to breeders. When they breed not all their puppies are show quality. Thats where I got my older dog. My younger dog came from a rescue org. He had lots of issues because he was owned by a bad back yard breeder but with lots of TLC and training he is a great dog. Got his CGC and I compete in agility with both dogs and do Therapy Dog work with them. It is a commitment to own a dog and you need to put some thought into what kind of dog you want ( low grooming, lots of hair, easy going, energetic, small, medium, large) before you get one. Then you must socialize him, train him and make him a part of your family. If you are not willing to do that please get a cat, or better yet, nothing.


before the invention of the internet, unless we saw dogs advertised for sale with a sign, or in the newspaper, people generally went to pet stores to buy their pets.---30-40 years ago, we never even heard of anything called a puppy mill, because of being limited to only newspapers, or what was on the nightly news. OK. Now I had bought pets from pets stores years ago, and all we knew, were that they were cute, expensive, and had papers. --Now, I am still planning on buying a show stock puppy as I would like to show and maybe breed pekes, unfortunately, I am not aware you can show any that have been sterilized and from a shelter, and no papers.-- I DO have a rescue peke mix right now, and she is a dear, an absolute sweetheart of a dog. - Can't say that I am not still yearning for a new high quality puppy from a good breeder with awesome bloodlines to put in the show ring, and also enjoy at home, because I am. -I prefer to buy purebred puppies, not because of the cute factor per se, but, you know what to expect from the breed characteristics. - As far as people " flipping" does not surprise me, as now with the internet, they can steal a dog from one place, ship it to another and shave it down, whatever, and sell it....sad for the heartbroken owners, and sad for the dogs this happens to.-- Not all people are going to be able to deal with a previously owned and already grown animal...I have a rescue now, and I have to say she is doing very well, but not everyone is going to be willing to deal with issues from past trauma to an animal. Everyone has different tastes, for sure, and not all people are going to pay the price for a good quality purebred, but, there r those that will not EVER go to a pound to look for a pet, and then there are people, that any old kind of pup or dog will do. viva la difference....but, they really need to arrest more people for pet flipping....they should be thrown UNDER THE JAIL. - And yes, I agree there should be some sort of regulation, but not to the extent it is going to harm or restrict conscientious breeders of dogs, or any other animals..


Also guilty of buying from a pet store. My sister and niece also is. Yes we paid big bucks. Yes we knew what we were getting into. We bought them and took them right to our D.V.M.We are not breeders and all of us only have one. I am certified in Animals In Disaster through F.E.M.A. Emergency Pet Sheltering by Red Star Farm Animals In Disaster. I took the female pomeranian orange for a whopping $799.00 We call it the big girls game. Less one being returned to the company. We have all our girls spayed between the three of us. My dog was a mill pup and now is age 9. It's a every expensive D.V.M. game. Not really a game but more of The known mill pure breed health issues. My dog alone must be worth over $3000.00 easily in the pomeranian health issues. Collappsing Tricka, Floating Knees, Cushings and The well known goose call. When wanting a pure breed go to this site and sign up for pure bread wish list. Every breed also has a save a pet rescue to adopt. it's going to cost you much more in a pet shop. Want a breeder ? Go to the A.K.C. Breeders refural list.You may have to travle but, If you want it bad enough you will, We need the mills shut down. I believe between here and other well know Animal Response Teams will be able to stop them in a while. The problem is . They clean them out and by the end of a month the hoarder or mill persons will already have 2 more. It's really a tough thing for them to keep up with. My advise is . If you don't want to keep paying the big buck emergency vet bills. Then adopt from here or a rescue association near you.


Yes it has gotten bad here in Texas, we have puppy mills everywhere and in the towns that have flea markets like Canton Texas they have dog alley and a lot of dogs are sold through there. People will steal and then take them out there for quick money. its horrible and these babies don't deserve that.


I have had a Rhodesian Ridgeback for the past 9 years. He is my heart and soul. I love this breed and I would pay the price again and again. There are certain breeds that people are more likely to gravitate towards so I wouldn't say that someone should not spend the money on anything but a shelter dog! Fast forward...I also got a shelter dog. She is a mix of a mix of a mix. I would adopt again as well. As long as someone does not buy from a store, all is well. No judging needed.