It has been almost a year since I had a very bad experience with the rescue of a local puppy mill. That experience led me to begin researching the various aspects of puppy mills and dog rescues. In this research, I have come across far too many activities that are the work of truly sordid people. Even when I start to question WHY someone would do these things, I realize that I know the answer is about money, more money, and even more money.
Until a few years ago, I had no idea what a puppy mill was or that the adorable puppies in the pet store window probably came from there. When I heard or saw a poster of a “lost dog”, I did not even consider the possibility that someone had stolen the dog and then sold it to an unsuspecting dog lover. I recently discovered that puppy mill owners are beginning to falsely identify themselves as animal rescue groups to attract buyers on social media websites.
Just when I think that squalor cannot go any further, a new “squalor scheme” appears. One of the newest is called “dog turning.” The concept of “flipping” was first applied to the housing market. In good economic times, people can buy a home, make some home improvements, or just let a little time go by and then sell the home for more than they paid for. Clever! Money in your pockets for very little effort.
There is nothing illegal about flipping houses. People are betting that house prices will continue to rise. Turning the dog is similar in concept and is not illegal. However, because it relies on lies to unsuspecting people and involves our faithful pets, it is at best sordid.
Dog fins are individuals or small groups of people who check newspapers and sales websites, such as Craigslist, to find dogs that people have listed as “Free to a good home” or “Small relocation fee required.” . The fins then visit the individual or family announcing the pet. Dog fins will come up with a sad story about their family and / or why this particular dog is so important to them. “Fido looks like the dog he had when he was a kid.” They also have a sad story to explain why they have no money. “I just lost my job, but little Johnny has his heart set on a new puppy.”
The unsuspecting family surrenders their dog to the fin, feeling released from responsibility and at the same time feeling that they have done a good deed for others. The family has no idea what is really going to happen to their pet.
The fin takes the dog to a place where other dogs obtained by the same method are housed. These living conditions can in no way be considered a loving home. The flipper then places the ads in the same places they were initially verified; but this time, the same pet is SOLD for $ 60, $ 100, $ 200 or whatever he / she thinks the dog will bring. The pinball can “earn” several hundred dollars for the dog the family thought they were giving to a family in need.
This scheme first came to light when a young woman found a listing on Craigslist for the same dog she had given away the day before. Is the practice of turning dogs illegal? Is not correct”? This is a much more difficult question to answer. There are those who would answer that business is business. Some people find throwing dogs no different than finding a special purchase at a $ 1 thrift sale and then reselling that item for $ 1000.
As you can infer from my use of the term “sleazy”, I do not share the views mentioned above. I do not consider a pet to be a merchandise to give away when it no longer fits or becomes inconvenient. Just as we make adaptations when our children sometimes cause problems, we can and should do the same with our pets. Our pets expect us to take care of all their needs throughout their lives. Owning a pet should be seen as a commitment to do exactly that.
I realize that sometimes bad things happen and cannot be avoided. The Sheltie I just adopted came to me as a result of such a situation. I also know, however, that we can totally eliminate the movement of dogs handing over our pet to a No Kill shelter or rescue instead of advertising our faithful family member as “Free for a good home.”