New trend hitting Midwest cities: stealing pets and selling online

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WICHITA, Kansas – Pets stolen, then sold online. It’s a trend police say is hitting cities in the Midwest.

It’s called dog flipping, and while the practice hasn’t yet been seen here in Wichita – there have been recent reports of pets stolen.

Some awareness and prevention can help keep your pets safe.

“Animals are considered property under the law and they can investigate it as stolen property,” explains the Kansas Humane Society’s Jennifer Campbell.

Stolen pets in Wichita aren’t unheard of, but a new trend that Wichita police say is sweeping the Midwest is pet flipping.

“Pets that are stolen intentionally and turned around and flipped on Craigslist or the internet and sold at a profit, this typically happens to purebred animals,” explains Lieutenant Doug Nolte, with the Wichita Police Department.

Police say the trend hasn’t hit Wichita yet, but it’s come close – appearing in both Saint Louis and Kansas City.

“Our detectives are monitoring it we occasionally do have pets that are stolen but we cannot tie them to any kind of ring that’s trying to make a profit on them,” assures Lt. Nolte.

An ounce of prevention will help make sure pet flipping doesn’t strike in Wichita.

“One of the best things you can do to protect your pet is make sure it has ID tags on the outside around the collar and also a microchip ID,” explains Campbell.

If a stolen animal makes its way to a vet, they will scan the chip and know your pet is stolen.

Also make sure your pet’s safely enclosed.

No holes or weak gates in your fence.

“I’ve also been told one of the best things you can do is make sure your pet is spayed or neutered. Sometimes when animals are stolen they are stolen by people who want to use them to breed other animals for profit so if your pet can’t make babies then it may not be as attractive to someone who’s wanting to use it for an illicit purpose,” says Campbell.

In Wichita you can find various locations online that offer low-cost micro-chipping for pets.

It’s also important to have your dog wear ID tags that can help someone contact you should they find your dog somewhere it’s not supposed to be.


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