It’s So Easy to Rehome a Pet with Craigslist…and So Wrong
Every day, everywhere, people with wonderful, loving, cute, sweet, well trained, house-trained, friendly dogs who are up-to-date with their shots and veterinary care and are spayed/neutered reach out to us. These dogs are good with men, good with women, good with kids, good with other dogs, good with cats. In fact, they are just plain good--not just good, perfect. So why are these people reaching out to us?
It seems that they just had a baby, they are about to move, they work a lot, school (sports, piano lessons, X-Box, texting, slacking) is keeping them busy, they just don’t have time, someone in the house is allergic to animals, someone in the house doesn’t like animals, the dog is too big for the house, the dog doesn’t match the new drapes, or the dog has medical problems. The solution to every one of these scenarios is to put an ad on Craigslist (or in the local newspaper) offering the dog “free to a good home.” Of course, there are a few people who would like you to take their problem off their hands and pay them to do it, but Craig’s list doesn’t allow selling animals, only a reasonable or small “rehoming fee.”
Each time I used the word “dog” in the preceding prose, you can substitute “cat,” “rat,” “snake,” “canary,” “parakeet,” “gecko,” “hedgehog,” or any one of the hundreds of animals people think would be great pets—for a while. After “a while,” they decide that they need to get rid of the pets, usually “to a good home,” and where better to find good homes (and serial killers) than Craigslist? Coincidentally, Craigslist and classified ads are favorite resources of serial animal abusers, dog fighting rings, hoarders, laboratories, and a variety of inappropriate people with whom one can place an animal they love so much but just have to give up.
It’s not that so many potential adopters are the only sinister ones; some of the “families” who have to give up the pets they love so much are actually amateur or back-yard breeders who subject their breeding animals to repeated matings, pregnancies, and deliveries, then dump them when they are no longer useful. Amateur breeders are significant contributors to the millions of pets who are “euthanized” in American shelters every year (estimates range from 3 million to ten million), however awareness of the hazards of offering animals free (sometimes to “a good home,” sometimes “to the first person interested”) through internet sites is sadly inadequate.Continued on the next page