MARION, IL (KFVS) - The Marion Police Department is passing along some important information from animal control. Please read and pass it along to others.
Police and animal control officials say there is a growing problem in the area called "animal flipping."
They say it is a rising problem in the area and your help is needed to stop the activity.
Animal flipping is defined as the act of stealing or knowingly removing an animal without consent then trying to sell the animal to turn a profit or receiving an animal for free with the intent of selling it to make a profit.
Another type is finding an animal without even making an attempt to find an owner with the intentions of turning a profit.
This one is more common in the region, according to police and animal control.
According to the news release, animals found by law are required to be scanned for a microchip at a vet or animal control office and reported to animal control.
If an owner calls or is looking for their lost animal, police can make contact with the finders and arrange for the rightful owner to claim their pet.
Police and animal control say once the animal has been scanned for a microchip and reported to animal control, residents can hold the animal for seven days for the owner to claim it (before keeping it as a family pet or re-homing it).
If residents have found that have found an animal cannot hold it for seven days call animal control to have the animal picked up.
Animal control says don't just randomly give the animal away, as doing so is against the law.
Sara Hawkins of Du Quoin says she has feels that pet flipping is becoming more of an issue in Southern Illinois. Hawkins has seen many posts online about pets lost or taken from loving families. Hawkins feels that awareness is key to helping resolve pet flipping.
Hawkins volunteers her time to work with animal shelters in the area and picks up pets from homes that can longer take care of them. She feels that is it horrible for these pets to be stripped from loving homes into a lifestyle more degrading.
Hawkins says people can help out these pets can only benefit them. She hopes that more people will take notice and if they see any pets possibly being sold or taken to call authorities.
If you know of anyone or have information about anyone attempting to or doing this type of activity please call Marion Animal Control right away so police can investigate the situation.
Animal Cruelty Statutes: