Criminals cash in on 'lost' pets

SEATTLE -- It's a startling new trend that has many pet owners on alert.

According to an article in USA Today from the Indianapolis Star, thieves are now putting stolen or found pets for sale online to make a quick buck.

It's called pet flipping and it's basically criminals reselling a "lost" animal to extort money from owners.

In one instance, an owner thought her dog ran away one night and a few days later she found him in a Craigslist ad. The woman set up a meeting with the seller by posing as an interested buyer. When she met with the seller, she quickly realized it was her dog.

She agreed to the seller's $900 price and left to get cash. Instead, she returned with police.

The dog's owner has since had her dog micro-chipped.

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