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July 25, 2013

Officials: No 'pet flipping' trend in Cass, Miami Co.

Family suspects foul play with husky missing since May.

A phenomenon known as “pet flipping” has been spreading through central Indiana, but officials around Cass County say they haven’t noticed it yet farther north.

One woman whose dog went missing during a 10-minute span May 10 suspects her dog was stolen and later resold — what’s called “pet flipping” or sometimes “dog flipping,” depending on the species of the animal.

“It was just too short of a time frame for him to have run away,” explained Debra Clark, whose daughter Brittany Clark owned Rocket, a purebred white husky.

The Clarks, who live near the Cass County line in Miami County, reported the suspected theft to the Miami County Sheriff Department. However, “I don’t have any proof,” said Debra Clark. No one witnessed the departure of the dog and the dog had not had a microchip identification inserted underneath his skin, she explained.

She had offered a $500 reward for the 18-month-old dog’s return. More than 700 people have subscribed to a Facebook page, “Finding Rocket,” advertising the reward. But so far, no luck.

“Everybody’s looking for Rocket,” said Debra Clark. “I would’ve thought for $500, somebody would have brought the dog back.”

The Indianapolis Star on July 16 reported the arrest of two accused pet flippers as well as noting other, lower-profile cases with similar charges had been filed with the prosecutor’s office in the city.

Miami County Sheriff Timothy Miller recommended that anyone suspecting their pet was stolen should report the incident to law enforcement.

However, he said he hadn’t seen a trend of pet flipping occurring in the area.

Pets occasionally run away or suffer an unknown accident causing them to fail to return home, he added. “I don’t know how you know for sure when someone steals your dog unless you find it.”

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