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Dog flipping and animal abuse tied to dogs listed on Craigslist

Dhicon_thumb By DogHeirs Team | July 15, 2013 | Comments (15)


Two recent stories in the news taught two families harsh truths about the dangers of buying and selling dogs through online classifieds. Although many dog lovers have heard about dog flipping, the reality is that many families are not familiar with the pitfalls associated with pets advertised on Craigslist, Kijiji, Ebay and other buy and sell websites.

Such was the case with a family in Michigan who placed an ad on Craigslist for their young pit bull named Duke, writing the dog was "free to a good home". That same day a young couple who "seemed nice, but didn't have much money" took the dog named Duke home. But animal control officers in Ingham County later received a call from a panicked young girl who witnessed a teenager kicking and beating a small white dog. Authorities told WILX.com the dog was Duke and he ended up with a permanent limp as result of the abuse. Officers tracked down Duke's owners through his microchip, but were not able to track down the couple who took Duke.

Dog flipping often involves people who take dogs from unsuspecting people and flip them for a profit. Dog flippers usually pick up popular breeds or pick up unwanted litters from dog owners for free or at low cost. Dog flippers are also known to claim pets who have been posted online as "found" (so if you ever find a pet, make sure you ask for proof of ownership from anyone who shows up to claim the pet). These scammers are not the true owners of the lost pet, as they will quickly turn around and sell the formerly lost pet for a profit. But dogs in flipping cases are usually ill-treated, as one woman in Nebraska recently discovered.

Last month, Denise Smith purchased a puppy from a woman who had posted a Craigslist ad. She was told the puppy was 8 weeks old (the legal age for adoption) when she met the woman at a parking lot. But the next day after taking the puppy home, she noticed the puppy was sick and vomiting. She took him to the vet and was told the puppy was likely only 4 weeks old and had coccidiosis, an infection that luckily was treatable. She called back the number to alert the seller but was unable to reach her. She later learned through online posts the individual was a suspected puppy flipper and others had gotten sick puppies from her. One of the puppies had died of parvovirus.

In another case of dog flipping in Kansas City, Mike Pfieffer found a lost dog in his neighbourhood, but after the alleged owner retrieved the animal, Pfieffer found it for sale on Craigslist. After a quick search, Pfieffer found the same individual selling four other dogs.

Both cases highlight the need for people to be extremely cautious when using online classifieds or, better yet, avoid using them when considering buying a dog or giving up an unwanted pet.

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Comments on this Article

I am currently searching for a missing pet and have been on craigslist constantly checking every available dog or puppy whether its found, needs to be rehomed or flat out for sale. I have seen up to $400 rehoming fee for puppies and some posts even stated the puppies were not even up to date on shots yet! I also saw a post from someone warning everyone that the batch of puppies he just gave away were being sold.
I got my puppy on cragslist last Friday and the guy who sold her to me didnt take care of her.. that same nite we got her she startd throwing out worms so i started calling and txting the guy that he had sold me a sick puppy and he never answered. . she was sad n yesterday I took her 2 the vit n they told me she had a stomach infection bcuz of the worms and had to be treated with antibioticsand... why do people want dogs if they can't take care of them??!! poor puppy!! :-(
Please sign and share this petition that is being sent to Craigslist's CEO www.change.org/PuppyDoe
Omg! This kind of stuff scares me so bad. People are two things - they are either stupid or they're evil. How can this exist in our world. It makes me want to rescue every dog I can find and take them with me to go live on an island somewhere so they never have to worry about being abused or neglected again. The evil is here to stay so those of us who care must be vigilant about stopping it. It's up to us.
Omg! This kind of stuff scares me so bad. People are two things - they are either stupid or they're evil. How can this exist in our world. It makes me want to rescue every dog I can find and take them with me to go live on an island somewhere so they never have to worry about being abused or neglected again. The evil is here to stay so those of us who care must be vigilant about stopping it. It's up to us.
Hi, I started a group on Facebook called FLAGGING Animal Sales on CraigsList, https://www.facebook.com/groups/F.Them/ . You are welcome to join and re-post ads. Thanks, Keith
Not only are there flippers, there are the research labs and dog fighters who said a really nice family or couple to get your free to good home dog then the dog you are dumping is now going to a research facility to be tortured or used as bait for dog fighters or trained to fight. But your dog is not going to a loving home. DO NOT give a dog for free even if you don't need the money, donate it to a rescue because these scumbags do not want to spend money on dogs they are just going to kill. Yes you may get lucky and get a true loving family but the odds are against you.
Jo Lynn Page, you need to go back and read the article, because it does have something about "free to a good home". And anyone can fall prey to a scam. You don't have to be so snide about this. The article is not saying that EVERYONE on these sites is bad, it is only saying to be careful, and asking you not to list your pet on there if you can avoid it. It's not the people who do the listing they are so much warning us about, it's the people who answer the ads. Maybe you should re-read the article.
It seems that there is nothing a human wont do for profit! Unscrupulous back yard breeders and that bloke that just happens to have a bunch of puppies in a box or a dog that looks healthy, where did they come from? I would consider anyone who meets in car parks and such decidedly dodgy. Unless you can physically meet the animals parents in their own environment, dogs and pups vaccinated, vet checked, microchipped and de sexed with verification, run a mile and report them. If you can adopt not shop, brilliant. Thousands of young healthy dogs are pts daily, you would be giving back life to a dog that never asked to be abandoned or neglected. That in itself is something really very special. You will get back from them more than you imagine 🐶🐶
I am Denise from the story..And the lady I got them from did get them for free in another city. The lady that gave them away says that she couldn't keep them or risk being thrown out so she gave them to this lady with the understanding the get vet care, and she be informed on how they were doing. I got my puppy the very next day. I wasn't aware of puppy flipping. I really thought that I was getting an 8wk old puppy from someone who had one accidental litter of puppies. I did try to adopt..That in itself is another story. Anyway there are people like me who innocently contribute to these sick individuals. The hope that I have is that maybe more people can learn from my mistake, and eventually this sort of thing becomes unprofitable to the people willing to do it.
One of my dogs came from Craigslist; a couple had found and rescued a puppy on the highway. He was a free mixed breed, in perfect health, and they'd gotten him his shots, so I'm certain it was not a dog flipper or a puppy mill (my other two came from rescues).
The story says puppy flipping and there is nothing in the article about someone buying or getting one for free and reselling it...the article is about back yard breeders who don't know how to take proper care of puppies and about people who abuse animals...come on,,,there are good people out there who also sell animals on these sites..it is BUYER BEWARE...you have to be smart enough to know what you are doing..
I got my dog 3 years ago from kijiji, and ran into this same situation... The lady wanted $400, and came with the puppies in a tub.. I could see right away that they all had worms.. but made the decision to save at least one of them if I could.. closed my eyes, put my hands in, and ended up with my little Dorian. The vet was able to get the worms cleaned out in a matter of days.
Oh these things sicken me. I hope this will posted over and over again. There just can't be enough warnings out there, people can be so cruel and that's a fact we have to live with but we don't need to be buying into these scams. Poor animals, so helpless ... :0(
I personally have listened too many horror stories of pet bought off CL, internet and back of a van in the parking lot. Still, there are so many people out there thinking (or not thinking in this case) they have a good deal. In this case, more likely than not they pay for what they get. The ones who suffer through all of this "ignorance is bliss" are the pets themselves. We must always cautiously investigate when getting a pet whether from a rescue or CL. I would stay the hell away from CL (reputable rescued do not use CL) and stick with the reputable rescues, i.e. Animals Best Friends, ASPCA, Animal Advocates, Villalobos Rescue Center, or similar.
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