Pit bull back in safe custody after alleged flipping attempt by couple

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – A recent pet adopt-a-thon inside the Hixson Petsmart parking lot was meant to help sheltered animals find suitable homes. But one couple is accused of taking advantage of the event to line their own pockets at the expense of a dog’s safety.

WDEF is not identifying the couple because they were not charged with a crime. But they did violate a major Humane Educational Society rule that pertains to pet adoption; a rule that was clearly stated on the adoption application.

"Under no circumstances do you re-home the animal; give it away or sell it," said Humane Educational Society Executive Director Bob Citrillo.

On Saturday, the couple adopted a young pit bull named Leapold for $50. But just hours after the adoption, the couple reportedly tried to sell Leapold online for $100. A Humane Educational Society volunteer spotted the ad and notified authorities.

"It’s not a perfect science. We have so many things in place to prevent these things from happening. This is a great case here where they looked like the perfect parents to a adopt this animal and they were not," Citrillo said.

When animal control officers attempted to reclaim the dog, they were reportedly threatened by a family member of the people who adopted Leapold. Hamilton County sheriff deputies had to intervene before Leapold was sold.

The practice of adopting a dog for little to no money then selling the animal is called dog flipping. Since Leapold is a pit bull, animal advocates feared the worst when they found out he was being flipped just hours after leaving their care.

"Are they selling to someone who is possibly fighting? We have no control over that. We were very fortunate to get back control over this animal and get the dog back to our shelter," Citrillo said.

The incident on Saturday has now forced the Humane Society to consider additional follow-ups with people who adopt animals from the shelter.

"That is one thing we will switch; applying more volunteers or maybe a staff person to be able to do more follow-ups."

Humane Society officials told WDEF the man who threatened their animal control officers also mentioned he has always sold dogs that were adopted. He reportedly told them that he didn’t understand why flipping is a problem.

Categories: Local News

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