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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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Jackie

I adopted a 3yo Jack Russell Terrier & she has been phenominal. She has been able to tell me when I'm really getting sick. One night recently, she kept pawing on my back, & I finally realized she wanted me to lie down. I did & the next morning wen I woke up I could not breathe. She hovered over me till the EMT'S got there & I wound up in the hospital for several hours. When I got home that same day, she knew I wasn't 100% by a long shot & would not leave my side. This girl knows when I should not go outside when it's too hot when I'm not breathing well. (By the way, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure). Felicity has been my life saver. Needless to say, any dog I get from now on will be a rescue from a dependable shelter. I love you Felicity!!! XXXXX

Jackie

I adopted a 3yo Jack Russell Terrier & she has been phenominal. She has been able to tell me when I'm really getting sick. One night recently, she kept pawing on my back, & I finally realized she wanted me to lie down. I did & the next morning wen I woke up I could not breathe. She hovered over me till the EMT'S got there & I wound up in the hospital for several hours. When I got home that same day, she knew I wasn't 100% by a long shot & would not leave my side. This girl knows when I should not go outside when it's too hot when I'm not breathing well. (By the way, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure). Felicity has been my life saver. Needless to say, any dog I get from now on will be a rescue from a dependable shelter. I love you Felicity!!! XXXXX

Bud

Then we're allowed our point of view also. Could be possible that she is a person who should not have a pet. After 40 years of working with dogs of all breeds, sizes, there are people who just don't have the mentality to have animals.

Kelly

for every pet who might not be suitable for a family with kids or something, my hunch is there are at least 100 others who are. Bridgette is full of it and frankly so are you. She's allowed her point of view, as are you, and we are entitled to think it is ignorant and harmful.

MS

Recommendation after what I read from Bridgette and the responses - check background information on the shelter/organization ask for references and check on them (any one else that has adopted from these shelters and rescues to make sure the animal has gotten the right treatment!). I've rescued 2 animals. One was from a rescue and the other found and not reported as lost. My dog had issues as he was malnourished during his young life as he was left to fend for himself and psychological issues of being left was great. Spent a lot of time and money for a trainer to get him to where he is today, but now he is not only my protector, but my running and hiking partner. Do your research on the shelter/organization and have the animal looked at by a vet of your own before taking it in. It is important to make sure to note that not b/c a dog was in a shelter/rescue organization/ or puppy mill it is not okay or healthy. Do your research!

Sara

You do realize that shelter dogs are not BRED that way, right? Most likely they're the product of the very thing you and her are trying to validate.

Lauren

There are an incredible number of dogs out there who need homes and are waiting to be adopted so, yeah, it's a pretty pathetic excuse. If you are only willing to have the *perfect* dog, maybe you shouldn't have a dog at all. There are plenty of dogs at shelters who do not have emotional or physical health problems. Just because *some* dogs do, doesn't give anyone the excuse to dismiss all shelter dogs. There are also a lot of other places to go to adopt dogs that don't support the abusive conditions found in puppy mills - like any of the many people on craigslist who are forced to give up their well-behaved, healthy dogs for whatever reason.

If you can't handle a dog that's suffered through numerous health problems or abuse, then wait until a healthier dog comes through the shelter. Patience is a virtue and, in this case, a lack thereof provides potential financial support to animal abusers.

Anonymous

VERY well put! "If you are only willing to have the *perfect* dog, maybe you shouldn't have a dog at all." That sais it all right there. Sometimes the fact that the dogs ARENT perfect is what makes them the best in the first place!

S. O. Rooney

Thank you so much, Patricia, for your note of sanity and kindness. I agree that everyone should be allowed their point of view, and the freedom to express it. Isn't that what this country is about? I don't really agree with Bridgette, but I feel she has a right to tell others what she thinks without being ganged up on and slammed down by those that don't agree with her.

M Dyer

Another solution: instead of getting a pet from a shelter find a local rescue where the animals are kept in foster homes. There they learn to adapt and get socialized, and the foster parent will tell you the good AND the bad about the dog you're interested in. Most foster parents will try to match the dog with the human, because they not only want the dog to be happy but also the new parent!

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