This is a horrible internet trend called “dog flipping”. Pet owners that are desperate to place a family pet, for whatever reason, will trust these people. They really make you feel that they want the pet as a new family member and you can “rest assured” they will always love and care for him just as you have. These are lies. Within days, these pets will be listed on the internet sites for a fee. Most don’t even try to cover up their deceitful acts. They list them with the same names and history. They don’t expect the original pet owner to be looking at the internet sites so why try to hide anything.
The scammers will tell you that included in your re-homing fee is spay/neuter and shots, while in reality the animals received these services from where ever the alleged ‘rescuer’ got the dog. Or, the dogs may have had no veterinarian work and the rescuer will ask you to “trust” them that the dog is current on everything even though they have no paperwork. They may even go on to tell you that they have to recover the costs of rescuing the dog from horrible conditions, but this is usually not the case. Most of the dogs are “flipped” within a few days after they have obtained them.
Some of these people actually con the shelters into waving or reducing fees. And the people who “dog flip” are incredibly crafty, often devising sob stories to win over the empathy of the dog owners. Shelters/rescues are being warned to watch out for any potential “dog flippers”. These dog flippers, under the guise of being a friend to animals, make a $200-$400 profit for each dog they obtain from the shelters, Craigslist, One Man’s Junk, local classifieds, etc. They do this a couple times a week and they can make a pretty good living at it.
Be careful of anyone posing as rescuers when checking out an adoptable dog. Ask detailed questions, ask about their non-profit status, ask details about the animal – it’s origin, temperament, how long it has been with them, and be sure to visit the dog in person before agreeing to any money being exchanged. If they tell you they are affiliated with a known rescue group, contact the rescue to make sure the person is indeed a volunteer in good standing with the group. Tri-County Animal Rescue has had to deal with this exact situation several times. Tri-County does not advertise on these sites and never will. Tri-County does not “surf” these sites looking for free pets either.
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. Please don’t “hand out” puppies at yard sales or out of your trunks. Most of these “give-a-ways” never have the medical care they deserve.
Tri-County Animal Rescue does search the local sites for anyone trying to “rehome” one of our dogs. Our adopted pets cannot be sold OR rehomed on these sites. It is not allowed per our adoption contract.
Here are some tips on keeping your pet out of the hands of dog flippers:
– Research potential adopters 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. People will claim they are helping dogs when they are really flippers. Ask about their non-profit status/tax id number.
– Listen carefully and be cautious trusting a sob or slick story. Do not be fooled by the tears.
– Please don’t post your pet on these internet sites…but if you do, take the time to fully check out the potential adopter.
– Finally, be wary of anyone wanting to take more than one animal.