Flynn: The Chicken Coop Dog. A good Samaritan saw the condition Flynn was in and purchased him to release to rescue so he could get the help he desperately needed.
What is dog flipping? Dog flipping is the practice of people getting a free dog and then selling it for profit. They find "Free to Good Home" dogs on classifieds ads, pose as a loving owner, take the free dog and then days later sell it at a profit. People do this with purebred dogs at shelters, too. They "adopt" them for the small fee a shelter charges, then puts them up for sale for hundreds of dollars. The dog flippers don't care who the dogs go to, they just want their profit. The dogs are not treated well while they wait to be "bought".
What is dog rescue? Dog rescues are people or organizations that take in owner surrender dogs and dogs from shelters, get them vetted and then adopt them out. Usually the dogs live in foster homes, but some have dedicated facilities where the dogs are kept. Rescues go to great length to make sure the dogs are spayed/neutered, up to date on shots, microchipped and have any other medical treatments then need (like dentals) before they are adopted. They have strict application and adoption contracts. They keep in touch with the adopters and will provide support to the adopters for the life of the dog. If the adopter ever can't keep the dog, the rescue will take it back.
So why do some rescues/rescuers get called dog flippers?
Because of the practice of "buying" dogs into rescue.
What is that?
Buying dogs into rescue is when a rescue or individual pay for a dog to go into rescue. Some situations include the puppy mill auctions, retired backyard breeder dogs, or older puppies that are at risk of becoming puppy mill breeders. Sometimes they are dogs that are neglected or abused that the owners want money for and refuse to turn over to rescue. Sometimes the rescues use donations to get the dogs, sometimes they just pay for them. Sometimes they are able to make up the money in the adoption fee, and sometimes they lose hundreds of dollars because the dogs typically need extensive vet care.
The people selling these dogs don't care who the dog goes to, they don't care if a rescue gets them. They just want money for the dog. The dog is a commodity, nothing more.
There was a big auction of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels recently. A puppy mill was closing down and used an auction to sell off their "stock". There was a public campaign to raise money to buy these dogs. Because of the publicity, the prices skyrocketed and dogs went for hundreds or thousands of dollars more than they normally would have.
most rescues that deal with auctions do so behind the scenes, posing as a buyer, not a rescue. The big puppy mill auction, while wonderful for the dogs saved, proved to breeders that kind-hearted rescuers will do anything and spend any amount of money to save dogs.
The answer is to shut down puppy mills, but that is easier said than done when so many organizations make millions off of mills.
There is no easy answer. Rescues do what they think is the best thing. Some refuse to pay for dogs, some have no problem with it. It is up to you as an adopter, volunteer or foster to think about these things and decide where you sit.