ASPCA is warning pet lovers about a disturbing new trend. Pet flipping involves an individual picking up a pet, either by stealing the animal or claiming to be the owner of a missing pet, and then quickly selling the animal for a profit.
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.
The ASPCA has shared the following tips to help prevent pet flipping:
1) Never leave your pet unattended - It only takes a moment for a thief to scoop up your precious pooch and walk away. Small, desirable breeds can be easy pickings when they are tied to a post outside the coffee shop while their owner grabs their morning pick-me-up.
2) Microchip your pet - Microchips are small electronic devices implanted in pets to help identify them if they are lost. When it comes to pet flipping, thieves can easily remove your dog’s collar but microchips are more permanent.
3) Spay/neuter is key - Pet flippers target dogs that are not fixed because they know that litters of puppies are more valuable than a single adult dog. The best way to deter these flippers from stealing your pet is to simply get them spayed or neutered.
For more information about preventing pet theft and finding a lost pet, visit ASPCA.org.
Sources – ASPCA.org and KatieCouric.com