A horrible internet trend has making the rounds in animal shelters and through private puppy sales. It’s called dog flipping: people come in to adopt a puppy or a dog and say it will be a pet, but once the dog leaves the premises, the buyers either put the dogs up for sale or ship them overseas to be used as breeders in puppy mills. Horrifically, some of these innocent pups are also used as bait in dog fights.
And the people who “dog flip” are incredibly crafty, often devising sob stories to win over the empathy of the seller. Shelters are being warned to watch out for any potential “dog flippers.”But while this phenomenon is currently making waves online, unfortunately it’s been around for a while.
Shelters typically try to have their dogs spayed or neutered before they leave their premises so they cannot be used as breeders, but it’s not always possible when puppies are very young. And it’s not just shelters that have fallen victim to the schemes of dog flippers. Amy Cannon, a dog owner in Cleveland, was surprised when her dog became pregnant. She subsequently sold the puppies at a very low price to what she thought was a loving home. “(The buyer) was like, ‘We live with our family and have land,’ and I felt really good about it,” Cannon says.
The buyer bought two puppies, and Cannon threw in a third for free since they seemed so happy with their new additions, and so the third puppy could live with his brother and sister. “How fun will that be?” she says she thought at the time.
Soon enough, Cannon discovered that the puppies were put on sale on Craigslist at a much higher price — and the buyers weren’t even trying to cover up their deceitful acts. “They listed him with his same name and everything,” Cannon says. “It makes me sick.”
Cannon and her boyfriend managed to get one of the dogs, Frankie, back after forming their own sort of “sting operation,” but they never found out what happened to the other two puppies. Irate over the situation, Cannon started The Citizens Against Flipping Dogs page on Facebook. She is also working to get legislation passed that would make dog-flipping illegal, which would be known, she hopes, as “Frankie’s Law.”
Cannon offers some advice on keeping pups out of the hands of dog flippers:
- Research potential clients on the internet. Look at how many times their name and phone number turn up on the web. Dog flippers tend to be on many websites with multiple dogs.
- Watch out for fake rescue organizations. Cannon says people will claim they are helping dogs when they are really flippers.
- Listen carefully and be cautious trusting a sob or slick story.
- Finally, be wary of anyone attempting to purchase or take more than one animal.
To learn more about The Citizens Against Flipping Dogs, click here.
Image: The Citizens Against Flipping Dogs
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