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"Pet Flipping" Scam Gaining Popularity

There's a trendy new crime called “pet flipping”—people steal someone else’s dog and sell it. Here are some precautions pet owners can take.

Avalanche the dog was last seen July 18 in Sandy Hook getting into an unknown vehicle. Credit: Michelle Douglas
Avalanche the dog was last seen July 18 in Sandy Hook getting into an unknown vehicle. Credit: Michelle Douglas
Written by Leslie Yager

There has been a 27.8 percent increase in the number of dog thefts between January and May of this year compared with last year, According to the American Kennel Club.

But there are ways to increase your chances of a reunion.

Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, recommends these simple steps family members can take to prevent becoming a victim of “pet flipping.”

  • Keep current photographs of your pet.
  • Never leave your pet unattended outside.
  • Talk with your family veterinarian about having your pet micro-chipped. Micro-chipping is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can easily reunite a lost pet with their family. 
  • See if your veterinarian recommends using advanced technology like a GPS tracking enabled collar.
  • Utilize your local veterinary community and sites like Craigslist (or Patch or Bronxville Patch's Facebook page) to try to find your pet.
“If you feel you may be the victim of pet flipping, don’t try to take action on your own,” Shaw said. “Call your local law enforcement authorities and work with them to help get your furry friend back.”

Headquartered in Tampa, FL, BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs more than 1,350 people including more than 350 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl does not provide primary care.  

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