Craigslist integrity (an oxymoron?): the pet section

I really love Craigslist   It is easy to buy, sell, GIVE AWAY and meet like minded people.  However…it’s also easy to scam, lie, waste peoples’ times, & rip people off.

I frequently get emails and responses from people who feel as I do:  That too many unethical  pet owners are breeding their pets & making money because they can post for free on Craigslist…  that Craigslist does not enforce their own posting rules.

That’s news?  It’s a shame, really.  They have virtually put newspapers out of business because of the free posting service.  Also, if you read the posting rules, and the frequently asked questions about  flagging, you can see that  certain things are not allowed for a reason.  However, it is  libertarianism in its true form:  they allow the community to flag off posts because they are prohibited, illegal, miscategorized, and spam.

I have the animal sellers sometimes contact me & ask me to flag off the weapons sellers, or the drug dealers, or  prostitution.  It is pretty well known that people fighting the trafficking of children   got reforms in the adult services section. They did this  by  organizing themselves and strategizing…& that is what pet lovers need to do.

First of all, I am not opposed to selling animals. Were it not for ethical hobby breeders of dogs & cats,  there would be no purebreds.  And—were it not for  dedicated herpetologists & avian fanciers, some species would have gone extinct.  That is not the issue. There are plenty of places to post for free, or for a nominal sum.    It’s posted in several places that  NO ANIMAL SALES OR BREEDING ARE ALLOWED IN ANY CL CATEGORY.  It’s just that, like the guy who lost his watch in the dark, but is looking under the street lamp for it, their excuse is, “the light is better over on Craigslist.”  The rules could not be more clear.

If Craigslist  enforced its own rules—I would be rich by now. As I have blogged several times in the past….they have allowed posters to libel me and harass my employers (or—innocent people whom the posters thought I was working for). They have posted what they thought to be my address.  Illegal?  Sure—but  the  assholes who do this know that law enforcement  is overworked & understaffed. Unless I find a lawyer to enforce the law & take my case (& a lawyer would make a lot of money off of this, really), there is nothing you or I can do. They –the commercial animal sellers—are laughing at us—…HOWEVER….

I have noticed there are fewer & fewer  chronic sellers posting. Yep, we get new ones all the time in Chicago…but they rarely repost after being flagged off. We used to have (as recently as 2010) many, many backyard Pit Bull & Shih Tzu breeders—& we still have  more than our fair share.  & we have several commercial bird, fish,and herp (snakes, reptiles) sellers who claim they are ‘rehoming’ animals they bred…& they also claim to not be breeders even though  they actually post that they own  one or both parent animals.  The stats bear me out:  fewer are posting, and fewer are selling. Why?

Either they get flagged off so often they realize they don’t have enough visibility to sell in a timely fashion & make money,  or….could it be?  THE MARKET IS SATURATED.

This  concept has not affected the imbeciles who allow their cats to breed & breed.  Frequently, they respond to me & tell me I am the reason shelters have to kill cats.  That’s great pretzel logic:  the reason the shelter have to make a Sophie’s Choice is that the imbeciles who don’t have their cats spayed think that if they give away kittens, they’ve found good homes,  the end.  These cretins really don’t think they are responsible for the surplus cats.…& once again—I have to point out that the shelters are not  doing an effective job of marketing spay/neuter/pet owner responsibility—& neither are the veterinarians.

Ok–back to the issue of how  I think I made a dent on sellers’ posting:

1. I counterpost the  contact info for local shelters &  point out that when you own the parent animals—this is not adoption or rehomimg—it’s selling—& should be flagged off;

2.  Nobody gets a baby animal  & immediately posts it because their kid is allergic, they just got a new job or have to move.  The odds are that  there that there are not that many  stupid people buying baby animals.  These are brokers posting an excuse.  I respond to these post—& tell them to return the animal to the seller, Ethical sellers take their  pets back because they love them & know their responsibility….& many people thank me. The ones who tell me to eat a booger  I know are sellers, & I flag them off—& I COPY THE ENTIRE POST TO :  ABUSE@CRAIGSLIST.ORG     INCLUDING THE POSTING # AT THE BOTTOM—& IN THE SUBJECT LINE   I PUT (PUPPY) SELLER CHICAGO PETS.

I was told to do this by someone on Craigslist staff (they are  always anonymous).  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

When I was flooded with  over 200  requests for free stuff that  an animal seller has posted in several cities (he clearly spent a day—an entire day—posting ads with my phone number or email address…no joke), another pet love who felt the same way I do—in California—was alerted, & she emailed me & told me what to do.  I started asking people to forward me the entire post—with the posting # at the bottom,  to me—& reforwarded them to Craigslist—-& guess what–the asshole who posted all this was suspended for about a week…meaning he could not sell animals on Craigslist—& I am sure this gave him pause as it cut into his sales.  The idiot has libeled me several times & gotten suspended…but I have yet to find a trial lawyer who doesn’t want $10,000 to follow through.  I guess that’s the price I have to pay for  trying  to make a dent in  the unethical sales of pet animals.

Now—to be more effective, more quickly  we have to enlist more people who want  those seeking pets  go to shelters & rescues.  That means that when we see offenders repost, we have to copy the post & repost it, and also point out that this is a commercial breeder scamming & selling–that the  person looking to adopt a pet will NOT be adopting, but buying.  Post  contact info for local area shelters, rescues, & …

I would like to point out that I only flag posts for adult animals  if they are listed as breedable(intact, not  spayed, gravid, laid eggs).  The  person who wants to dump this pet knows it can be a SELLING POINT  because people do want breedable pets.  The American Kennel Club said the hobby breeders are not meeting the demand for PUPPIES….& YES–there is a demand for baby animals—no doubt.  But there is virtually no demand for  adult animals—which all these babies become if they live.  Also, if someone posts that the pet has a health issue, or is not good with small kids—I flag. This animal is a public health hazard, & should be euthanized.  It doesn’t matter that  the household wanting this animal has no kids.  Kids are bittern & maimed by ‘accidents’ all the time.

There is a commercial animal breeder & seller in  Indiana—I am not libeling him—he is very proud.    He goes by  He  continually posts that I work as an animal shelter (I do not) &  get those animals to sell so I compete with others.   I have no desire to do this.  I have 2 old dogs (as of this posting..&  can barely pay for my own health insurance.  & that’s the choice as I see it these days.   Or… he posts that since the animal shelters & rescues get animals for free, they are making a profit & competing with rehomers.  No joke. This guy is a prince.

We have to encourage others to flag off the sellers:  pets under 6 months old. Herps sold as ‘het’, ‘morph’, ‘gravid’…in grams…without enclosures.

Yes—it’s true—idiots constantly go into petshops with credit cards, believe these sellers are animal lovers, buy these over prices commercially bred animals —bred as livestock—get home, & panic. That’s too bad.  They even have the audacity to  post what they have invested or say they just want to make their money back. We should ALWAYS  encourage these people to return to the sellers &  DEMAND THEIR MONEY BACK.  In Illinois, you have 72 hours to cancel a sale….& it is illegal anywhere to sell a live animal to a minor. Many people thank me for that information…the sellers tell me to …eat a booger.

We also have to ‘help’ the bona fide shelters & rescues make sure their links and contact info is good, & help them screen prospects.  I always urge anyone looking for a baby animal to check out   It is a great site about dogs—but the info applies to most pet animals.

Please forward the link to this blog to anyone you think may be interested in helping to solve the problem of livestock breeders & brokers taking advantage of idiots with too much money, not enough sense—or people who believe  that people selling animals have more integrity than they have.


2 Responses to “Craigslist integrity (an oxymoron?): the pet section”

  1. craigslist ad posting service Says:

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  2. Susie Creamcheese Says:

    I encourage all that want to get ripped off, get a sick or dying animal or get scammed to use Craigslist. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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