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WKYT Investigates: Lancaster man says dog stolen & flipped, part of a growing trend


If you ask Lars Lyman, he'll tell you he has five kids. One of his babies is a Presa Canario named Kimber. The dog is a Spanish breed that advocates say can be easily mistaken for a Pitbull.

Last week, Kimber was stolen out of the Lyman's front yard. "I am scared. I'm scared for my dog," Lyman said when we interviewed him hours after his dog disappeared. He says his neighbor saw it happen. He said, "They stopped, got out and said, come here girl. She ran to them. They put her in the car and left."

Lyman believes his house was cased. Whoever took her, knew her schedule. He says it was routine to let her out without a leash for brief periods throughout the day. "She's only outside for ten to fifteen minutes," he said.

Lyman and his breeder started a social media search for Kimber. Thousands shared her picture, including Debbie Wimsatt, who runs a Facebook page called "Lost and Found Pets of Lexington."
"There's just so many evil people out there doing bad things to animals," Wimsatt explained.
Much of Wimsatt's time is spent on Craigslist and other pages like it, looking for stolen pets being sold online.

"There are people that, due to the economy, due to drugs, due to easy money, they steal animals," Wimsatt said. She says this so-called "dog flipping" happens either when people get a free dog and then sell it, or steal a dog and sell it.

Wimsatt says there are some easy ways to prevent dog flipping. First, don't leave your pet unattended. And second, make sure your pet has a micro-chip. "My fear is that right now someone's holding onto someone's pet and they don't realize it," Wimsatt said.

From the second Lars Lyman's dog was stolen, he presumed she was flipped. Sure enough, 30 hours after Kimber was taken, they were reunited. "We were contacted by somebody that had purchased her from another person," Lyman said. Somehow, the person that bought her for $300 found out the dog was stolen.

"We're lucky she came back unharmed and safe," Lyman said.

"They are extremely lucky. It just doesn't happen that often," Wimsatt responded.
Wimsatt says Lyman is one of the few with a happy ending. Where a dog flipping flipped back to the place it started.


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