MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Pet flipping. It's a crime law enforcement officers say is happening more and more to pet owners. And humane society officials say it's becoming a big business.
"Flipping is something that can happen by someone stealing a dog or sometimes someone scouring Craigslist and the paper for lost pets and then going and claiming that they are the owner of that pet," said Katie Pemberton of the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County.
It is not clear whether the Yorkshire Terrier stolen in Memphis last week is a victim of pet flipping, but anyone who steals a pet or buys a stolen pet can be prosecuted.
"It really depends on the breed," Pemberton explained. "But, there are some breeds that will go for $1,000 or $2,000."
Getting your pet microchipped is one way to keep better tabs on it. And if your dog is already missing, pet-finding websites like findtoto.com might be able to help.
How do you know whether you're buying a stolen pet? Dealing with legitimate pet agencies is a good start.
With thieves focusing their efforts on animals, it's more important than ever to keep your eye on your pets.