If you have never heard of pet flipping, it’s a frightening trend that is on the rise in the U.S. Here’s what happens: A criminal gets a hold of a lost pet through a lost and found poster or even steals the pet from the yard of a home and then flips it by selling it for a profit. Not only should pet owners be concerned but also anyone who is looking to buy a dog or a cat.
Is It Organized Crime?
There’s no statistic to point to that shows pet flipping as joining the leagues of Tony Soprano, but the criminals who are involved in this misadventure seem to target their prey with an exacting strategy.
When a dog or cat disappears it’s usually because he or she is seen as valuable for breeding purposes. And then these beloved pets turn into breeding machines in someone’s nasty garage.
What Kinds of Dogs are Flipped?
Usually purebreds but that doesn’t mean your mixed breed won’t get picked up and flipped as well.
Purebreds … and especially those not neutered or spayed … are rich targets for flippers. And then they flip the pups for a reasonable price and buyers think they’re getting a great deal.
Where is This Happening and What Can Be Done?
From what we have seen, the states in the Midwest seem to be a hot ground of pet flipping.
And here’s the hard part: While it is certainly illegal to steal someone’s property, not all animals are stolen. Some are found lost and wandering around and, rather than try to find the rightful owner, the pets are sold.
One of the best things you can do for your cat or dog is micro chipping. This is a painless procedure done by the vet that puts a chip just under the skin that can be scanned. There’s a unique number that identifies you and the animal and that’s how you win a flipping case.
If your animal is missing, start checking a service like Craigslist to see if your pet is listed for sale.
And never let your pet outside without your supervision — especially in the Midwest at this point.
What to Do If You Think Your Pet Has Been Flipped
You want wide exposure about your missing pet so that anyone buying an animal may notice and call you. Place posters far and wide – your pet could be as far away as 10 miles.
Then get on the Internet. Use Facebook and Twitter to get the word out and contact your local authorities about your missing pet.
While pet flipping is horrible, some pre-planning can help prevent it. If it happens and you think your pet may be flipped, watch Craigslist in your area to see if your pet is being sold.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com
Have you been a victim of pet flipping?