If your pet is missing, you may want to check on the website Craigslist.
Officials said that thieves are picking up wandering pets and selling them on the website to make quick cash.
It’s happened in Clark County, and now in Delaware County.
Justin Masterson said he returned home one day last month to find his two pit bull puppies missing.
Masterson said a guy who allegedly took them told the sheriff’s deputy that he saw the dogs coming out of a cornfield along North Old State Road, outside of Kilbourne.
“We went all the way, neighbor to neighbor, the whole road when we got home looking for the dogs - couldn't find them,” said Masterson.
The pit bulls, Jules and Baby, were nowhere to be found.
Masterson said about a week after the dogs disappeared, he spotted a man walking one along State Route 521.
Masterson said there is no denying the dog was his.
“He put the dog down, we called it and it came to us. We put it in the truck, and we told him about the other dog and that's when he said he was watching the dog for his friend who was at work, and his friend did pick up two puppies about a week prior,” explained Masterson.
Masterson then filed a report with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the report, the man who took the puppies admitted he put them up for sale on Craigslist and sold one for $50.
What happened to Masterson is referred to by some as “pet flipping.”
“It's definitely something we will have our ears and eyes open to now,” said Delaware Co. Dog Warden, John King.
King said he was not aware of “pet flipping.” He said it is the job of his office, not the public, to pick up wandering dogs.
Masterson said it would be similar to finding a purse or wallet and saying “Well, if no one claims it, I’m just going to keep it.”
But Masterson says having his dog stolen is more painful than losing a material item.
To protect your pets from being stolen, the dog warden recommends keeping them current with their dog license, getting a microchip implant, and keeping them in a fenced area or on a leash while outside.
The man who admitted to deputies that he sold the dog on Craigslist was not charged with a crime. He told authorities that he took the dogs home to care for them so they did not get struck by a car.
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