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Long Island woman arrested for 'dog flipping'

Lisette Tobon faces 1 3/4 to 4 years in prison in the case
Nassau County NY District Attorney's Office

A New York woman was arrested Friday after authorities allege she was adopting dogs from local shelters using false information and then reselling them on Craigslist according to an article published today on the website.

Local authorities claim that in November, the woman, Lisette Tobon, adopted a Pekingese named Willow from a city shelter in Port Washington, NY. They claim that when she filled out the paper, she used an old address and telephone number. The article quotes authorities as saying that Tobon only kept the dog a couple of days before she sold it for $200 through an ad on Craigslist.

According to an article posted yesterday on, when Tobon sold Willow, she gave the new owner the paperwork showing the vaccine records. The shelter found out about the flipping when the new owner contacted then about the shot records. At that point, they recognized Willow as the pekingese Tobon had adopted.

A month later, Tobon is accused of returning to the shelter to adopt another dog, this time a husky named Knuckles. She claimed Knuckles was to be a friend for Willow, and that Willow slept in her bed every night. The Shelter did not allow her to adopt Knuckles, but Tobon was apparently undeterred.

On Valentine's Day of this year, she allegedly tried to adopt another shelter dog, this time in the New York town of Babylon.

Dog flipping is the process where a person gets a dog, often free or using a sob story, and then resells it for a higher price. Dog flipping is a common practice in many areas of the country. Flippers will often answer "free to good home" ads, and people will turn over their animals believing they have found a great home for them. Instead, the dogs are often kept in poor conditions, and resold for a profit.

While "dog flipping" itself is not usually illegal, other laws may be broken in the process. In this case, the article states that Tobin was charged with "two account of offering a false instrument for filing and one count for scheme to defraud. Tobon faces a maximum sentence of 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison."

The criminal complaint against Tobon alleges that she told authorities she had sold between 75 and 100 dogs on Craigslist in similar fashion.

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