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Growing ‘dog flipping’ trend angers breeders

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Virginia has many animal abuse prevention laws, but so far there are none to outlaw a rising trend called “dog flipping.”

That’s when someone buys a dog from an owner or breeder as a pet, but then resells the animal for a profit.

It's a rising problem in some parts of the country. In fact, “dog flipping" has sparked a website called Citizens Against Flipping Dogs.

A push is even underway in Ohio to criminalize the behavior.

"It's understandable why dog breeders and folks who sell dogs really have a problem with this, but creating a law to guard against the resale of animals is nearly impossible, if not impossible,” said CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone.

Stone said because dogs are considered property under Virginia code that it would be difficult in the Commonwealth -- or anywhere else -- to enact a law banning the controversial practice.

"But the thing that Virginia does guard against is abusing animals,” said Stone. “I mean there are plenty of laws on the books that keep people from mistreating animals."

Linda Howard, a professional Rottweiler trainer and breeder, shudders at the prospect of animal abuse.

Howard told CBS 6 News' Sam Brock that she pours her heart and soul into raising the animals. In turn, making sure the pups find a good home is a paramount part of her job.

In fact, Howard said she meets all the families and requires buyers to sign a contract stating that if the new owner cannot keep the animal, she has the first right to buy it back.  

“I take a picture of everyone when they're leaving, and I can tell who's coming here," Howard said, as an additional safeguard.

However, the breeder said she has not seen any examples of “dog flipping” in her business since her Rottweilers sell for thousands of dollars, which in her opinion, is too much for the dogs to be re-sold at a profit.

Howard, said “dog flipping” is more common among dogs that sell for a few hundred dollars.