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All pet owners should be aware of the terrible practice of pet flipping (also commonly called dog flipping). According to Animal Law Update, it is defined as the criminal act of stealing a pet and then selling it as a pet in need of a home to unknowing buyers, often through sites like Craigslist.
Another version of pet flipping is when a lost animal is claimed by someone pretending to be the owner, who then turns around and sells it. Still, another variation of pet flipping occurs when a pet is stolen, and the thieves extort ransom from the owners to get it back.
Time Magazine reports that pet flipping is rising across the United States, with some cities like Kansas City, St. Louis, and Indianapolis experiencing a particularly sharp increase. Organized rings of thieves in these cities target particular breeds of dogs with high resale or breeding value, such as pit bulls, German shepherds, Boxers, and Rottweilers.
Big dogs aren’t the only targets for flippers. Desirable and popular toy breeds like Yorkies, French bulldogs, and Pugs are also victims. What can you do to protect your beloved pet from being taken by flippers? Here’s some practical advice all pet parents should keep in mind, courtesy of the American Kennel Club:
Fortunately, there are some obvious warning signs when it comes to pet flippers. Here are some of the cues you should watch out for when considering to buy a new pup:
If the seller you’re talking to has no up-to-date vaccination or other records of their pup, that’s already a big red flag. Responsible
Ask about how the seller got his pet. If his story doesn’t match up with the background check you did on him, then there might be something odd going on or he’s hiding something.
Upkeep for pets is very pricey, especially for certain breeds. Certifications, check-ups, and vaccines will run up a tally on every responsible owners’ wallet.
If the pet you’re getting is being offered at too low a price, it’s a good indication that the pet is either taken from an unreliable source or stolen from its original owner.
If the pet you’re about to buy looks like he’s in poor health or being neglected, this is a clear sign of a disreputable dealer. All businesses are legally mandated to take proper care of animals, as written in the Animal Welfare Act.
While these warning signs aren’t necessarily a guarantee that you’re dealing with a pet flipper, the mere presence of such clues should make you pause and do due diligence before taking custody of a new family member.
Thorough research is, therefore, the primary call of action when getting a new pet. Thankfully, there are a few ways we can ensure that your new furry friend is taken from an ethical source.
Perhaps one of the best options there is, local animal shelters provide many pets that really need rescue. Some of them are also really lax on requirements, which is a plus for new pet parents.
Fees may vary depending on the location but be assured that you have to pay something because these organizations take care of the animal vaccinations and check-ups.
Be reminded that availability is dependent on many factors, such as breed or location. Purebred dogs in shelters are very low in numbers, so it might be good to opt for a mixed breed instead.
There is no reason for the lack of research into reputable sellers of dogs. Many online databases are available for public perusal and you should check before buying a pet.
The first step to checking a dealer is to see if they are registered under the American Kennel Club. This non-profit organization oversees the registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States.
Ask for the AKC name or registered number of the parents of the pup you’re trying to adopt. If they do not have it available, they are highly likely not a reputable source.
Another good way to confirm the reputability of a
That said, it is clear that all reputable dealers will be willing to provide papers to prove your pup's health, temperament, and history. Those who refuse to do so may have gotten their pets through questionable ways, such as pet flipping.
Check out some of our cute dog rescue shirts to show your support for the victims of this practice. We ensure that a fourth of the proceeds are donated to no-kill animal shelters.
Yes, stealing dogs is illegal and is punishable by law.
The AKC stated on 2020 that approximately two million dogs are stolen each year. Whether or not they are all resold remains unknown.
While we can take some precautionary measures to keep our darling pets from being stolen, there is no sure way to stop these people from committing criminal activity.