BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — If you've ever been on Craigslist you know you can find just about anything a job, a place to live maybe some furniture or lawn equipment, really anything and everything, even pets.
But there are some people who get animals for free online and then turn around and put them up for sale. Some people say, not only is that bad business, it’s bad for the animals.
They're cute, they're cuddly, often times homeless and they're looking for a good family. But some people are just looking for a quick buck.
"People will go on craigslist or in advertisements and even in shopping centers where people are giving away dogs they will pick them up for free," says Michelle Vernon from the Livingston Parish SPCA.
But that's where 'free' ends.
"They will turn around and post them on sites and sell them for a profit."
They're called "flippers." But our pet population is out of control, so finding them a good home is crucial, right? Well if that was their priority, yes. Vernon says it's not.
“It literally puts me in a mode where I am like oh no, not in my town your not going to do this."
Michelle has been hunting down these "flippers" for awhile now. She’s a dog lover at heart she knows, deep down, this isn’t right.
"So when you get a dog from a flipper or someone selling it on craigslist unless they have the record that comes along with the animal you don’t know what you’re getting you just have no idea."
She says the health and well being of these animals could be in jeopardy.
"You might have the animal a week then it comes down sick and I guarantee you the flippers will not take those animals back."
She says there's always an excuse.
“They say I am not breaking any laws doing this but you are being unethical and you’re being immoral; you're doing harm to these animals."
And Vernon says, it happens more often than you'd think.
"Everyday, all day, every area, it doesn't matter income, it doesn't matter education, and it’s all over the place."
Here's what she says you want to look out for.
“We’re looking for someone usually with a hard to believe sob story.”
She also says too many details in the post online will give them away. But because this "flipping" is technically not illegal, they hope that changes soon.
"We’re putting together a bill that will make it illegal," noted Vernon.
Until then, all Michelle can do is inform the public that this is happening, all around us.
“There needs to be a lot of education in this area. All they care about is getting that all mighty dollar in their pocket.”