As I said in my About page, where you’ll see hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions urging Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster to shut down the Craigslist pet section, people have been warned not to post animals on Craigslist, Facebook and other apps/websites for over a decade. Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to prevent animals from being posted on Craigslist for reasons — plural. Really, they all boil down to one reason: people have taught other people that cats, kittens, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals are disposable, so psychopaths and dogfighters have been disposing of them.
People Collecting Cats, Kittens, Dogs and Rabbits for Dogfighters Aren’t Just Replying to Craigslist Ads, They’re Posting Them
This map shows dogfighters that have been busted between Buffalo, New York, and Kalamazoo, Michigan since 2019. It includes Cleveland, Warren, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and Detroit, Flint and Lansing, Michigan, but we have dogfighters all over the country, particularly in the South. If you’re posting cats, kittens, dogs, rabbits and other animals on Craigslist, keep in mind:
- Dogfighters aren’t necessarily in prison. Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was arrested in January of 2020 and has been out on bond, awaiting trial, for over a year and a half. Buffalo, New York, dogfighter Douglas Williams was allowed out on bond despite being arrested for dogfighting while on parole for “violent” home invasion and disappeared before his court date.
- Dogfighters have posted Craigslist ads like this seeking kittens their dogs can kill for practice.
- This tweet shows four cats and kittens that have been killed in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, since November 2020.
- Drug-dealing dogfighters eluding police probably aren’t going to reply to your ad. They send women like the woman in the first photo of that tweet to pick up your cat, kitten, dog or rabbit.
- Women fight dogs, too. This white woman in Dayton, Ohio, fought dogs and cut off her dogs’ ears. This white woman in Pennsylvania and her husband were going to turn dogfighting into a family business. If you scroll through this post, you’ll see Asian and Latina women, white guys and old guys.
- This white guy in Akron, Ohio, is providing cats to and breeding kittens for a dogfighter who hasn’t been busted yet. Section B of Michigan State University College of Law’s “Detailed Discussion of Dogfighting” explains the black cat’s bald spots.
- A dogfighter in Columbus, Ohio, was busted with catmills, which you can see an example of here.
- A dogfighter in Pennsylvania was busted with four rabbits.
- A New Jersey dogfighter “bragged about maintaining his fighting dogs by feeding them chickens and rabbits, remarking how much the dogs loved killing the animals.”
- Police found blood on the dog treadmill on Warren, Ohio, dogfighter Stanley Redd Jr.’s property.
- Drug-dealing dogfighters have money. Redd had over $62,000 in cash when he was arrested in May 2021. When feds raided an Akron, Ohio, dogfight that attracted attendees from five states in 2014, feds found $30,000 lying in the yard. If dogfighters want the cat, kitten, rabbit, or dog you post on Craigslist, Facebook or some other app, they’ll pay for it.
People Are Killing Animals for Social Media
A guy in Riverside, California, bought a Chihuahua from Craigslist and slit its throat on Snapchat. A woman in Kokomo, Indiana, killed five dogs, five cats and 11 unborn kittens she obtained from social media. “I’ll be killing a pregnant Siamese and a kitten later on today,” she posted on Instagram. “Court documents state she … removed the unborn kittens from the mother’s body and posted images on social media of her crushing them,” Indianapolis news station WISH-TV reported. These are not isolated instances. Numerous petitions have urged YouTube to remove animal cruelty videos.
Angry Guys Are Taking Their Anger out on Kittens and Cats
A geometry teacher in Texas killed his four kittens because it made him feel “powerful” when he felt frustrated, according to a news station in Jacksonville, Florida. He also took them to the vet each time he hurt them, so keep that in mind if you’re asking for vet references in your Craigslist ad.
Animal cruelty increased 301 percent in Michigan alone between 2016 and 2018. That was before COVID-related job losses and evictions. Both domestic violence and animal cruelty have increased because of COVID.
“My guess is that the pandemic has been hard on a lot of people, both in terms of their resources (and) their mental health,” said Tali Smith, a prosecutor in Seattle. “And so it’s kind of a pressure-cooker situation. You have people that are angry (and) they’re at home a lot. That anger can be taken out on an animal.” Richmond Animal Care and Control in Virginia reported “a big increase in violence towards the animals in the home and outside of the home.” The news is full of guys who’ve killed their wife, girlfriend or ex’s kitten(s):
- This New Mexico wildlife officer — i.e., a guy who gets paid to protect animals — decapitated his wife’s kitten in their bathroom sink;
- This guy in Lake County, Ohio, beat his ex/roommate’s cat to death;
- This guy in Clearwater, Florida, killed his ex-girlfriend/roommate’s kitten by throwing it at her during an argument;
- This 48-year-old guy in Fort Myers, Florida, kicked his ex-girlfriend’s kitten, stomped on it and threw it against a wall, killing it;
- This 21-year-old guy in Calgary killed his girlfriend’s cat, which he was living with because she’d moved to an apartment that didn’t allow pets, because she called him a 12-year-old during a text argument.
Psychopaths Are Copycatting Other Cat Killers
Long before the Luka Magnotta documentary premiered on Netflix last fall, men were adopting free/cheap cats and kittens from Craigslist, Facebook and other websites, torturing them and killing them. Ronald Golden killed 22 cats that he got from Craigslist, meaning he convinced 22 people that he’d be a good pet parent; Kaine Louzader killed “at least 12,” meaning that’s how many he admitted to killing. The guy in the photo above was an armed security guard at a mental health facility and killed one cat per month for about a year that he got from Craigslist. He told his mom, friends and therapist what he was doing. None of them did anything to stop him.
Animal Flippers Are Looking for Quick Cash
When I first started replying to — and taking screenshots of — Craigslist ads, I titled some of my screenshots, “Why Are Cats Always Cowering in Craigslist Photos?” I later realized people were snatching cats off the street and posting them on Craigslist in hopes of obtaining quick cash. The cats didn’t know these people and were rightly afraid of them. If you scroll through all four screenshots in each of the tweets below, you’ll see a woman named Rachel Sanuk in Cleveland, Ohio, asking for free/cheap cats and dogs and then trying to sell them.
This guy in Texas tried selling Great Pyrenees puppies on Craigslist. When he didn’t get the amount he wanted for them, he killed them. The woman in Cleveland sold the black cat to our dogfighter.
If you need to — and I stress the words “need to” — find a home for cats, kittens, dogs and other animals, please ask family, friends and coworkers you know well if they would be willing to give your pet a safe home. Do not hand your pet to a stranger on Craigslist, Facebook or any other app hoping the person will let you check on your pet. They can block you via phone or social media before they even leave your driveway.