(WMC-TV) - You've heard of house flipping, but what about dog flipping? If you are looking to re-home your pet, be warned that dog flippers are looking to make a profit.
"Essentially flipping the dog like you would flip a house," said animal rescuer Sarah Clinton.
Clinton said dog flipping is all about money.
"There are some predatory people out there who will take your dog in, say they are going to give it a good home, and then turn around and sell that dog for 50, 60, a couple of hundred dollars," said Clinton.
Dog flippers usually target sites like Craigslist, betting no one will catch the deception.
"You might think you are giving your dog to a loving home, but it is going to be warehoused with up to eight to 10 other dogs in tiny apartments and sold to the highest bidder," said Clinton.
Dog flippers prey on families looking for a good place to re-home their pet. A Facebook page, Citizens Against Flipping Dogs, is already warning the public about the trend.
A couple in Ohio started the Facebook page after their dog, Frankie, was flipped. They eventually tracked down the "flipper" and got Frankie back.
Robin Starr with the SPCA said consumers have to be alert when looking to re-home their pet. She said while dog flipping may be cruel, no laws are being broken.
"We want to get a read on the people that we are adopting to and feel comfortable that their intention is to provide a lifetime home to this pet," said Starr.
Experts said charging a fee for your dog is a big deterrent for dog flipping.
"It cuts down on their profit and maybe they will overlook that pet and look for some easy money some other way," said Clinton.
Be on the lookout for ads where people claim they lost their pet tragically, want to replace it and cannot afford re-homing or adoption fees. Also have your pet spayed or neutered.
"We always see a lot of puppies and kittens that are oops litters, they are not planned," said Clinton. "So if you spay and neuter your pet, you take that out of the equation."
Most important, rescue groups said to build a relationship with the potential adopting family.
"It's beyond our realm of thinking that anybody would look at a companion animal and see it as a means to turn a quick buck," said Clinton.
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