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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I'll love my pet no matter where I get it from. Pet store, shelter, breeder, rescue, the alley. All animals are special to me.


I loved my dog with all his little imperfections and temperamental behaviour I loved him regardless and when I looked for another dog when he passed away after 17 years the last thing on my mind was if the new dog would have the same issues as the old one .. I looked at him and BAM i was madly in love .. 15 days later I spent 900 dollars at the emergency room with him and the months after that a few other hundreds .. taking him back never even crossed my mind .. your human kids are not perfect either .. it's disappointing to see so many posters in search of the perfect dog not just a dog, a companion ..


I do see the side of both concerns here: I adopted a little mix breed from rescue. She was 11 to 14 weeks when I got her. At the time she seem alright, but later on she showed behavioral issues she didn't show from the beginning. She didn't liked to be pet not even touched when eating or having a treat and she just cannot stand kids. This is something that has changed or improved a little, she's now 4 and I can pet her when she eats and a little when she has a treat. Dog park are a no if there are kids around, so she has to stay with a leash. My point to all this is, she is perfect and compliments my life beautifully. Yes, she has her issues but not something that cant be controlled and hopefully fixed overtime. Dogs from shelter can be perfect or not. Like mine, I didn't know she would have this behavior. On the flip side: my dad has had a lot of dogs over the years, must of them bough bc they were pure breed, supposedly perfect. Well, I got to say I still have a scar from when one of them decided to attack my hand for no real reason. I guess at the end, checking or not the background of the pet shelter or breeder, you don't really know what kind of dog you are getting until they show their true colors. I believe there's a perfect dog for each of us, its just takes looking and being patient.


my dog is a rescue dog my other dog was a shelter dog all animals deserve love your lame excuses are as lame as you are we don't give a dam about your excuses

The Pet Transpo...

As a pet transporter who has transported 100's of dogs and cats I have yet to run across this problem in the article... (hope I never do either). As far as breeders go, I only haul dogs from reputable breeders. I have never seen a puppy mill and hope never to see one either...
I myself have 4 cats a dog and a turtle ALL of them rescues they have either been found on my street or gotten from a rescue. They are my life and I am really not sure if I rescued them or they have rescued me!!!!
I see animals making people happy all the time whether they come from breeders or rescues they all need homes and people to love them.

Sue Lee

As animal and pet abuse and neglect is on the rise, please sign and share this petition I have created as we take a stand for these defenseless animals - find the petition at - - sign and share with everyone you know and on your social networks. We have got to stop this abuse of poor innocent creatures.

Sue Lee

As animal and pet abuse and neglect is on the rise, please sign and share this petition I have created as we take a stand for these defenseless animals - find the petition at - - sign and share with everyone you know and on your social networks. We have got to stop this abuse of poor innocent creatures.

Joanne Muoio

The worst place to puchase a dog is from a pet store. Don't you realize that you are supporting puppy mills by buying from them. I volunteer at my local shelter and there are so many wonderful loving dogs and cats awaiting homes. All my animals are rescues. I love them and they are great pets. Pet stores should not be allowed to sell puppies, and puppy mills should be illegal. Why isn't this considered animal cruelty when these poor dogs are living in horrendous conditions. They need to change the laws, and ban puppy mills and not allow pet stores to sell dogs or cats!


Bridgette you have no idea what you are talking about. Where do you think pet store puppies come from.From puppy mills, which are by the way quite legal and are regulated. A a rescue worker with many foster dogs from puppy mills I can tell you that they do have many health and behavior issues. Even the puppies. Most are taken too young from the mother znd miss out out the lessons she teaches them. They don't get any human socialization necessary for a young pup. And what do you think happens when you return a sick pupppy. They are put to sleep. They will not spend money on a sick puppy when they are seen as disposable. It's no different than store that thows away a broken plate or defective item. The "merchandise" is insured and they lose nothing. Supply and demand. If you can't sell puppies on ithe internet or in pet stores then there is no demand, no supply.


And another thing... shelter dogs are almost always at their peak for temperment! So it's your fault for choosing a dog with poor temperment if you were unwilling to train it properly. With puppies, you have no idea what you're in for because they have not grown into their personalities. So you are the problem... not the poor shelter dogs!