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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There are many breeders out there that are not puppy mills. If you do want a specific breed, look on the internet. Check out the breeder clubs for verifications. You do not have to buy from a "puppy mill" to get a "papered pet". When you go to these breeders they will send you pictures and you can visit their homes. Which most breeders keep their dogs at their homes. Quality pets and they do come with a clean bill of health (which they will have for you to take) and a return policy. I was a breeder for a lot of years. I took pride in my dogs and where I kept them. And it gave me a lot of happiness when someone would come get a puppy. You can also see their moms and dads. So you know what you are getting. " Puppy Mills" must be destroyed, not licensed, what do you think they do with the puppys that they can't sell, because of their looks or if they get sick. They KILL them and not in a humane way. Adopting a rescue is a way to get all the unwanted, homeless dogs a forever home. When their are no more homeless dogs, then ever one that wants a dog can buy from a reputable breeder.


Like you I am a hobby breeder which means we take great pride in the breed of the dog that we choose to breed. There are people that confuse it with backyard breeding aka Puppy Mills. BY and PM breeders could care less about the environment for the dog let alone health. Like yours my pups have a nice warm bed in a nice warm house with lots of love and affection. They all receive their shots etc and are spoiled rotten:)


If you are breeding dogs to keep as your own pets, I think that's fine. However, if you are selling or even giving those puppies away to other families looking for a pet, you are depriving a shelter animal somewhere of a home.


Breeders need to be illegalized... There is ZERO need for more animals to be dumped into the shelters or put down when they're no longer wanted.


you are the exception...many breeders are out for the $ not the quality, or for the love of the breed.


If you want a specific breed, there are plenty of breed-specific rescues; directing people to breeders, "reputable" or not, is still horrifically irresponsible at best.


Well said, Kelly. There is no need to create more dogs. There are so many that go through the breed specific rescues that don't find homes. Why breed more?

Deb Lehman

Once again, right on Kelly! Why are we breeding and selling more dogs when we're killing millions of "unwanted" ones a year? Supply and demand... so stop supplying.


You're an idiot.


I would agree with you.