A disturbing trend is growing in our area of pets disappearing from their homes, and then showing up online a few days later.
Recently the Marion, Illinois, Police Department posted a warning online about animal flipping, where animals are stolen and sold for profit, or returned to their owners for a few days later for a reward.
"What it is, is people trying to make a cheap buck," said Robin Jarvis. "What they do is go around these neighborhoods and they see these little dogs or cats outside and they steal them, and they put them on these websites saying lost dog or found dog. It is against the law."
The best way to protect yourself and your animal from becoming victims of animal flipping is to have them micro-chipped.
"Make sure your animals are micro-chipped that way if you do buy a dog from a person off the street and something doesn't feel right when you get it home if it's got a microchip in it, it will show the number," said Jarvis.
If your animal is stolen and has been micro-chipped you can notify the maker of the chip, who will then list the animal as stolen.