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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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!


Totally agree!!


I agree as well. All of our animals except my bird are rescue pets because my mom always said it was better to save a life. Although my own dog is not a shelter (someone found her on the road as a puppy and brought her to the animal hospital, where I adopted her) I still think that shelter dogs are so much better. The issues can be worked out with a little time and a lot of love. I've had Charlee for a year now and have never met a smarter dog. She picks everything up so quickly and is always watching me like a mom to make sure I'm safe, she hates it when people come near me but never EVER bites. I love her more than words can imagine and will continue to buy eery animal from a shelter, old or young for the rest of my life, if she had just given her pets time she could've worked through a lot of what she's talking about.


Wow, I think that's the worse defense for a reason to buy a pet from a store. If people do not buy there is no market, the puppymills have no reason to continue to breed these poor sick dogs that get no love, food, vet care their whole lives.
I have 5 rescue dogs and yes, some have issues but you learn to work with them and they will flourish. I also take very good care of them, whether I bought them from a store (which I would never do) or adopted what was considered an unadoptable pet it does not matter, I would do whatever it takes for them to have the best life possible. There are people who buy their dogs and spend thousands on the purchase only to abuse them. Buying a dog does not make you a better pet owner. This kind of ignorance is why we have puppymill problems.


That really is a lame excuse to not get a shelter dog. I have two shelter dogs and love them SO much. They are wonderful companions and are so loving. I don't know that I would have had it work out any other way.

Love my Dogs

I totally agree with Janice ! All 5 of my babes are from a shelter and are living long healthy lives !


What????????????? Are you insane....Your actually telling people not to adopt from a shelter?????? But to buy from a pet store..You need to rethink your thinking...OMG! Puppy Mills need to be BANNED and OUTLAWED!!!! And so should Pet Stores!!!!!! OMG....


Why do pet stores need to be banned. I wanted to adopt a shelter dog but the lady who ran it wasnt to worried about getting these dogs adopted. I did purchase my fur baby from a pet store. What do you think happens to those animals ifno one buys them?? My dog had a microchip, they paid to have him neutered and the first year of shots and anything else he needed. HHeis a blessing to our family. So that makes me a bad person because I couldnt adopt the shelter dogI wanted? Oh by the way I did want a puppy.


99.9% Sure it's because you were not fit to be a dog parent.