If you’re like most people who post cats, kittens, dogs, rabbits, and guinea pigs in Craigslist’s pet section, you don’t read other people’s ads. [This partly explains why some cat owners charge “$10 to ensure a good home” while dog, rabbit, and guinea pig owners charge rehoming fees that actually protect their pet.] For the past six months, I’ve spent every break, lunch, and waking minute that I’m not working reading ads, flagging ads, reporting ads to humane societies, calling and emailing police about ads, and writing letters to judges and prosecutors about ads because there are five dangerous people lurking in Craigslist’s pet section.
1. Dogfighters on Craigslist
Six years ago, a former animal shelter employee warned HuffPost readers that dogfighters “scour Craigslist and Facebook all day looking for pets they can use as bait.” Months later, a mansplainer whose username has disappeared from Reddit surmised that bait dogs are “a huge myth.” He cited the following sources:
If you click any of those links, you see “page not found.” Here’s what Michigan State University College of Law’s Animal Legal and Historical Center says about bait animals, which include cats, kittens, rabbits, and guinea pigs — not just dogs:
Sure enough, two months after I started replying to Craigslist pet section ads because I’d read a review of Netflix’s documentary about cat killer Luka Magnotta and decided to warn people about guys like him, cat killer Ronald Golden, and cat killer Kaine Louzader, all of whom obtained their victims from Craigslist, the following ad appeared in a sh#tty part of Cleveland where a dogfighter had been busted 10 months earlier:
No one in east Cleveland has the room let alone the money to take care of everyone’s unwanted animals and definitely not a pet that has health issues. If you start googling “Kinsman” (upper right corner of the map in that ad), you see the following:
A little more googling reveals the dogfighter who’d been arrested in January previously lived in zip code 44105. If you post a Craigslist ad with that zip code, you get the same map as the “unwanted animals” ad.
Two hours after that ad appeared, a similar ad appeared in an equally sh#tty part of the west side of Cleveland. In this ad, the guy said he had a fenced-in yard. This was the fenced-in yard:
The day after those ads appeared, the following ad appeared:
Who would post a Craigslist pet ad to communicate with someone he knows? Oh, I dunno. A dogfighter who’s out on bond, trying not to get caught committing another crime while he awaits his trial date…?
Dogfighters have also advertised potential fighting dogs on Craigslist.
Prior to me tweeting this, if you had googled “Bolio,” you would’ve found a gopitbull.com page that said, in short, the original Bolio killed [another dog] in about two hours and “handled ALL his opponents with ease.”
Fewer than 24 hours after I tweeted two Bolio ads and this excerpt, the gopitbull page from July 2012 disappeared.
So, not only are dogfighters on Craigslist, but they’re on Twitter. This shouldn’t surprise you. They — and the women who collect kittens, cats, and other unwanted animals for them — live next door to you. Why wouldn’t they use the websites and apps that you use? Especially when it’s so easy to create a fake profile, hide behind a fake name, and obtain a fake phone number…?
If you still find it hard to believe dogfighters are sitting on Craigslist, waiting for you to post free/cheap pets, consider the following:
- The object of dogfighting is for one dog to kill another dog.
- When feds busted Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy in Akron, Ohio, in 2014, they found “a concession stand selling refreshments and $30,000 scattered throughout the yard.”
Bearing those two bullet-pointed statements in mind, why WOULDN’T dogfighters search Craigslist for free/cheap pets for their dogs to practice on and why WOULDN’T women who live in a ghetto round up free/cheap pets for them in exchange for drugs or money?
These are not good people.
2. Animal Flippers on Craigslist
For weeks, someone near Turkeyfoot Lake Road in Summit County, Ohio, posted Craigslist ads seeking a Shih Tzu or Shih Tzu mix in Akron-Canton, Cleveland, Zanesville, and other areas. Turns out, the person is an animal flipper with at least two phone numbers: 330-961-34__ and 330-703-27__.
I called the animal flipper out via email, and you can read what happened:
3. Thieves Who Sell Stolen Pets on Craigslist
In February 2021, Lady Gaga’s dogs were stolen. They made headlines. Most stolen dogs, like the one below, only make Craigslist pet section ads.
4. Angry Guys on Craigslist
Forty-nine times out of 50, when someone replies to my Craigslist pet ad reply, the person thanks me for warning them about dogfighters and other dangerous people. No. 50 is always a know-it-all who claims to work in animal rescue or Angry Guy. You know Angry Guy. You see him in the news every day:
Angry guys are incapable of taking advice from women, even where defenseless animals are concerned.
This reply came from someone who was advertising a newborn kitten who has to live and walk around on the most disgusting floor I’ve ever seen in someone’s home.
Angry guys beat women and animals:
- Deputies: Port Charlotte man kills dog, beats woman “The victim told deputies that [Allen] Drzymala had been drinking all day and was angry.” (Feb. 2021)
- Manatee Co. man accused of beating, stabbing woman and trying to kill dog (March 2021)
- A northeast Ohio woman’s former boyfriend, who shared the apartment with her, beat her cat to death (Nov. 2020)
- South Bend, Indiana, police arrested a man who allegedly beat a dog with a hammer and then buried it in the snow (Feb. 2021)
- Security video caught Los Angeles CEO Jeffrey Previte choking and slapping his dog after it started peeing indoors (Aug. 2020)
- Witness recorded Vancouver man bodyslamming dog onto busy sidewalk (July 2020)
- “A 2-year-old gray-and-white shorthaired cat slipped out of his home [in Cincinnati, Ohio]. The cat’s owner later found him that evening tied to a tree with a red retractable dog leash, which was wrapped so tightly around his neck that she had to cut it off. Dagger had been bleeding from his eyes, nose and mouth. The cat also had puncture wounds on his body and was not able to stand.”
In Michigan alone, animal cruelty increased 301% between 2016 and 2018:
https://wwmt.com/news/local/state-data-shows-increase-in-animal-cruelty-incidents. What do you think that number stands at now that men have lost their job due to COVID? Answer: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/animal-cruelty-cases-spike-in-king-county-prosecutors-and-animal-service-organizations-consider-pandemics-role/
5. People Who Posted Sick/Injured Pets on Craigslist
Some pet owners try to raise money for their pet’s vet visit; others sell items on eBay. In three weeks, three people posted sick and injured pets in Craigslist’s free stuff section. One was a black cat with an eye infection that hadn’t been treated because her jobless owner couldn’t afford to take her to the vet.
The following weekend, someone posted a German shepherd with an ear infection in the free stuff section, saying the dog had had recurring ear infections for a year and a half, but she hadn’t been able to take the dog to the vet in over a year.
The next Friday, a 62-year-old man in Pittsburgh posted a peacock with a broken leg in the free stuff section.
I cannot stress this enough: Craigslist is literally the worst place you could rehome your pet. That’s why Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to shut down the pet section.