Craigslist Pets: 5 Dangerous People You Don’t See When You Post Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Rabbits, and Guinea Pigs

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:

“The dogs are chained to one beam and another small animal like a cat, small dog, or rabbit, is harnessed to or hung from another beam. The dogs run in circles, chasing the bait. Once the exercise sessions are over, the dogs are usually rewarded with the bait they had been pursuing. … Bait: Animals are tied up while the dogs tear them apart
or they are confined in an area to be chased and mauled by the 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:

Our dogfighter was busted on Minnie.

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:

“Kinsman Cleveland ghetto”

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:

Two months earlier, police had rescued nine dogs from a West 44th Street home in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton “neighborhood.”

The day after those ads appeared, the following ad appeared:

“Maybe it was you. Let me know.”

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.

“bloodline is Bolio and watchdog”

Prior to me tweeting this, if you had googled “Bolio,” you would’ve found a 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.

“The requested page could not be found.”

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?

Officers seized 112 grams of heroin, 21 grams of cocaine, more than 400 prescription pills, [and] $8,591 cash from inside the home.
This person asked when he should get rid of unwanted puppies
“just after birth or few moments before they can see?”
This one asked, “[W]hat do you do to cure scars after match as soon as possible.”

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__.

January 27, 2021: Looking to give a shih tzu a good home. Have proof of vet.
January 29, 2021: I am looking for a shih tzu breed puppy, or shih tzu mix
nothing that costs an arm and a leg, can be a shih tzu mix.
February 4, 2021: We are looking for a shih tzu or shih tzu mix that needs a good home
as companion for us and our other dogs. Nothing pricey.
February 10, 2021: Looking for a small dog that will be ready by next month, preferably a shih tzu or something similar, will have other dog buddies. Have proof of vet. No outrageous fees please. NO SCAMS. I will not send money first/deposits, I will pay or send money through an app in person when I come to get the pup. If I find the puppy I like I will NOT back out.
February 11, 2021: Looking for a shih tzu for my little buddy. Have proof of what you need to know.
I am a good owner.
February 15, 2021: In search of shih tzu puppy. Will pay a fee! Nothing outrageous. I’ve had no luck finding
a puppy please I have looked all over.
March 5, 2021: 1 year old male shih tzu – *has all shots (puppy and rabies) have proof of that … asking $500.

I called the animal flipper out via email, and you can read what happened:

“Lol oh okay! Well I decided to keep him anyway. So its all good, and again this was my aunts dog…”

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.

“This is Cici, not Daisy! I am her legal owner. This … Craigslist post that I have included here is a lie! Cici ran away from me 2 weeks ago. A scum that is suited to his last name, Shawn Roach has stolen her. This low life and his wife Ashley put her up for sale on Craigslist in the farm section. He waited for two weeks to post it. I have all the proof I need to prove that he is a thief and a liar. … He is a registered dog abuser and has criminal records on file going back to 2018.”

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:

In Michigan alone, animal cruelty increased 301% between 2016 and 2018: What do you think that number stands at now that men have lost their job due to COVID? Answer:

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.

“I”m looking for someone that could love her and take her to [the] vet [to get her]
left eye treated in [the] next few weeks.”

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.

“This is painful for me to write. I have a 3 year old female German [shepherd named] Nala. … Unfortunately due to some financial circumstances, we have made the decision to rehome [her]. Nala was born with a hernia. So she can’t have puppies. She’s not spayed, but needs to be eventually if she’s ever around male dogs. For the past year and a half, she continuously gets ear infections. I have tried almost everything to get help [to] get rid of them. We took her to the vet about a year ago for medicine for the ear infection, but haven’t been able to afford to go back for more. If you do decide you want her, please take her to a vet soon…”

The next Friday, a 62-year-old man in Pittsburgh posted a peacock with a broken leg in the free stuff section.

“Have 2 year old male peacock healthy but has broken leg free”

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.

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