Shut Down the Adoption and Sale of Pets on Craigslist

craigslist animal sale

Target: Jim Buckmaster, CEO, Craigslist

Goal: End the unregulated sale and adoption of pets on Craigslist by removing the “pets” section.

Craigslist, the popular classified advertisement website, allows people to sell furniture, cars, apartments, and other personal items through online interactions. For animal welfare reasons, Craigslist does not allow the sale of any pets or animals, but the adoption of pets, with a small re-homing fee, is allowed. Although this clause is found on the website’s Terms of Use page, many Craigslist users ignore it and sell litters of puppies and kittens anyway. This causes many problems, as these pets are oftentimes coming out of illegal puppy mills and kitten mills. Unknowingly, those who end up buying these animals from Craigslist are contributing to the inhumane puppy and kitten mill industry.

Another major problem with selling and adopting pets on Craigslist is that the transactions are unregulated. Not only are people unaware of where the animals are coming from, but they are also unaware of where their animals are going. There have been many cases of people adopting free pets for cruel practices. In recent news, a man was found guilty of torturing and killing over twenty-five cats that he “adopted” from Craigslist. It has also been reported that many pets that are adopted from Craigslist are used as bait in dog fighting rings, or sold to research labs for scientific testing. In addition, some people are adopting the puppies, kittens, and small mammals on Craigslist as food for their large snakes and lizards. These buyers may pose as nice pet owners, but it is difficult to verify their authenticity without the background checks, home visits, and pre-screening tests that many animal shelters and rescues enforce.

In many cases, the people selling these animals do not have the pets’ best interests at heart and are only concerned with making a profit. Recently, one poster tried to sell three-day old puppies for $100 each. After further investigation, it was discovered that the mother of the puppies was actually a stolen dog. Without knowing for sure where the animals are coming from or where the animals are going, people posting or adopting pets on Craigslist are taking a huge risk. They may be unknowingly contributing to the cruel puppy mill industry, or accidentally selling their best friend to a life of misery and pain.

For these reasons, the “pets” section on Craigslist should be eliminated entirely. Sign the petition below to urge Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster to take a stand against animal cruelty today.


Dear Mr. Buckmaster,

I would like to encourage you to remove the “pets” section from Craigslist in efforts to end the sale and adoption of animals online. Although animals are prohibited from being sold on Craigslist as listed in the website’s Terms of Use, there is no regulation on this matter and litters of pets are being sold at prices ranging from $100 to $1500 in the “pets” section and “for sale” section. The problem with this is that many of these animals are coming from illegal puppy and kitten mills. Craigslist should not contribute to the exploitation of animals for the benefit of puppy mills and kitten mills. People who end up buying these pets off of Craigslist are also contributing to the inhumane commercialized breeding industry. Although the sale of animals is not allowed on Craigslist, it is still happening and people are getting away with it.

Another problem with selling and adopting pets on Craigslist is that adopters and adoptees do not know where their pets are coming from or where their pets are going. There have been many reported instances of people adopting free pets for cruel practices. Some animals are used as live bait for dog fighting rings, and some are sold to research facilities for scientific testing. In addition, some people are adopting kittens, puppies, and small mammals as food for their larger snakes and lizards.

Without strict regulation, those who are posting or adopting pets on Craigslist are taking a huge risk. These people may be unknowingly contributing to the puppy mill industry, or accidentally selling their pets to a life of misery and torture. In efforts to prevent animal cruelty and needless torture, please remove the ‘pets’ section on Craigslist immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: crossfirecw via Flickr

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  1. That’s not true i got a 2yr old of there and he is doing great for free and they still see him from time to time

    • There are occasions where good people who don’t have a lot of money can get a pet and love it forever. Hopefully, they will have the resources to pay for vetting if it gets sick or is hurt, but that’s another topic. Nobody is against good people. The problem is that for every good person, there are more bunchers – who come with kids to look like a family and collect any free pets they can find to sell to labs, to sell to fighting rings, to feed to their snakes. We know these people. And that is not an acceptable risk for a few good people. Anyone who cares about animals should be willing to go through a shelter who provides proper vetting and screening.

  2. Pet’s (free or sold) should be the first to be deleted from Craigslist.

    Personals should be the second.

    You want a pet, go to a rescue or shelter.

    You want a date, go to a dating website or the nearest bar.

    Craigslist should be for items that do not require oxygen to survive.

    • Every time someone flags my craigslist free dog listing for a family dog that someone abandoned in the country where I live, I shoot the dog and add him/her to the “bone yard” in the ravine behind my house. Think about that next time you delete a free dog listing Nana. Maybe its just a person trying to give a good dog a second chance at happiness.

      • What is wrong with you…she has a point. You sir are the one who should be kept away from animals.

        • Christine says:

          Yea- tell those people who ABANDON THEIR DOGS on his land to keep those animals away from him.


        • This petition reads like it was written by an 8 year old who’s emotional because her daddy sold her puppy because she was a little bratt.

          They gives no statistics considering how many people are happy using Craigslist as a apopters or adoptees. They simply throw in a few fear mongering stories and say that if we just shut it all down it will stop. That somehow, if politicians touch it, it will just cure a big dent in animal woes and that’s simply not true. There are dozens of freebie sites out there used by people with ill intentions. If you shut down the biggest one, all the little ones will fill up faster.

          Meanwhile, when removing the biggest connection that allows people like me to safely and quickly find animals to help or rehome, you are hurting far more people and animals.

          You know why they don’t give you any statistics? Because they don’t have any. If they had any bulk of a statistical data to give you, they would give it to you. Because the truth of the matter is, considering there are literally tens of millions of ads placed every single year, a very small minority of those cases have problems.Tens of thousands of independent, small and large rescues use Craigslist every single day to Rehome pets in a safe manner. Removing that would be removing this blood very important bloodline

          If it wasn’t for Craigslist pets, I wouldn’t have my dogs, I wouldn’t have all of my cats, I wouldn’t have been able to rescue and bottle feed the kittens in the past. I wouldn’t have been able to rehome the puppies that we took in…. we wouldn’t have been able to rehome are rabbit, other dogs we have found, other cat we had taken in, our bird. Even our fish were quickly rehomed on Craigslist to a good family when we got screwed over on our house. None of these extremely important situations are thought about in that petition.

          …and you’re telling me you want me to ask him to shut it down?

          How many people out there are happy to have certain pets in their lives, because of Craigslist?

          How many independent, small, and large rescues use Craigslist to help them find wonderful homes for these pets that no one else wants?

          You’re a grown woman, you should know better than this.

      • You should be incarcerated. You are sick. Your parents failed. Badly.

    • Christine says:

      Are you Craig? Who are you to say what CRAIG’s List should be for?

    • You know something I think people that leave comments such as no puppies being sold or adopted on Craigslist now for me you know something I think people that leave come as such as no puppies being sold or adopted on Craigslist now for me I have been rescuing and breathing for 10 years all of my puppies call of the dogs I have rescued I do it background check to make sure they don’t go to Noah home it has been abused to animals for any danger my guys are the kennel trained potty trained and friend around and up to date of their vaccinations they are far from being vicious there’s a lot of family that looking for a pet on Craigslist and I see in feel that there’s not a damn thing wrong with anybody post in there pet on Craigslist now yes there’s a lot of she pick up this world buffet that people that do care about what they do for instance me big time I care about with my puppies go and I care about where my rescues go I stay in contact with every one of my clients for the past 10 years I get all of their updates get all of their photos there is shady people out there unfortunately that do breed and that to make a Facebook and that are not honest before the one that are in the one that truly do care really should not come down or criticizing is not everybody is bad shit label people just because of what you see on Craigslist Praxair everybody to use some more dishonest the morning but I am truly thankful for Craigslist the cousin that we tell you several families that have lost their pet and lost 11 have came to me and found that emptiness that they lost they have found a new love one to share that love and that happiness with and that something that’s truly blessed that I am able to give somebody that happiness in take away their. So do I think the Craigslist stop but they’re doing by all means no I think it should do some background checks on and asking more information on certain people but also you’re right now I would definitely keep posting what I post on Craigslist and that’s my puppies and that’s my rescues none of them have ever bit anybody none of them ever ended up in a shelter I care about my dogs go and I will always care about oh I talk to go just because I might breeder does not make me a bad person and I’m not making a fast f*** I’m doing something that truly care but I don’t free back to back and I definitely don’t mix my blood line so that people that seem to write these posts and say these crock nonsense think you guys need to get off the chair and go get a job as you have way too much time to be going through everybody’s post and everybody’s listings on their pets sincerely tomorrow a breeder and a rescuer well I stop now there I care about everybody that I come in contact with most definitely it one more thing I can fly but that just tells me that people that unfortunately don’t know who I am they catch up part of my listings and you seem to want to flag media flag me for either one because they’re selling another pet like mine or because they’re going to assume that I’m a bad person because I’m have my Puppys up there for listings it’s obviously the amount I am putting my puppies up for its not to make the money because let me tell you the prices I could be getting them for I’m not doing it I’m doing it to make sure the families get a pet that they’ve been wanting to get knowing the type of breed that I do breed and do rescue or very very expensive so the prices I put forward is definitely not to make a fast buck so the ones I want to keep flagging me go for it and I will keep posted it not you or anybody is going to stop me from putting a little puppy and a little girl or a little boy or retirement woman or mail and biggest thing of all the military family to get a puppy into their home so keep flagging I’ll keep posting have a great rest of the year sincerely Basset lover

    • Please DO NOT sign this petition! Yes it sounds great but the problem is that on Craigslist we (animal advocates) can view the pages and we can educate others (such as someone earlier trying to sell 5 week old puppies) and give them BETTER ways if they need to rehome, adopt, ect. If it’s shut down it will just happen other places that we CANT minutes as closely. (Other random sites, flea markets, actual yard sales, parking lots… Places that make the whole situation even more dangerous for all involved. I commend this person for their intentions, but we should petition them to find a BETTER way to educate and moniter this. I’ve talked with people on CL before that simply didn’t know there were other ways to find a home for your pet that would background check people (Rescue Well) I’ve spoke with people who didn’t know that they could get a heartworm + pup treatment (they were looking for euthanization because they never had a dog and this one that they had for 2 months was told by a “vet tech” that they “might as well find something to do with the dog because it won’t make it” ) now I know there’s 3 sides to every story but the point is that we have made progress here on CL also. Please also keep in mind that more than a few dog snachers have been caught because they try to sell said dog on CL. We have been able to not only get many animals back this way, but also try AND CONVICT these people who took a piece of our heart with them the day they took their owners baby. Please consider these things!

    • Whats wrong with you people?

      Maybe you have good intentions but your results will be people who can’t take care of their animals and will drop them off on the side of the road such as where I just found a dog and cat. The dog was injured I’m left on there a tree with food and water by someone who obviously couldn’t afford to take care of them. I saved the mama cat from the woods she’s a sweetheart and had kittens.

      It would be great to take animals to a shelter but they charge money for it which I don’t have. Places like the SPCA claim they are a no-kill shelter but they just send their animals to the Polk County animal Control and let them do the Dirty Work.

      People like you do more harm than good.

      There are people many good people with good hearts and good homes who shelters turn down. I know because they turned me down just because I had an old cat listed on their vet side.

      They are a joke and their animals are NoT taken care of.

    • So how do you find a duck dog. They are not at shelters. You all activist are idiots

  3. Starr Montgomery says:

    I have been personally affected by a flipper on Craigslist. A woman, who was supposed to take care of my pets temporarily sold them on Craigslist without my permission, and led me to believe they were safe and in good health. Animal flippers should be arrested!

  4. Anne kessler says:

    Craigslist is a dangerous site for animals ..the only thing up should be lost & found . So the 4 percent that had no problem ..good for you were lucky. Yes people need to rehome their pets ..and the weirdos, resellers..flippers .dog fighters will be there too. Their is other options…go thru safe Facebook about just committing to your pet.

  5. Wow lol I understand that some people do this but still this is not any help since my grandma and I breed brittany spaniels we don’t even do that to are dogs there pets but also show dogs

    Also some people don’t give pets for fee you know? We do but it has to be a really close family friend to do that. But mostly we sell are puppies because think about it pets do coast sometimes.

    But ares are not in a mill they all have there own room in the house run around and play with the other dogs heck I even play with them everyday I come home lol

    I just wish Craigs list can let you sell the puppies because it’s more easy and more safe to me then selling them on eBay bevause we don’t like shiping the animals we let people come and meet the puppie but also we try to get to know the people before selling, we don’t do just dogs we also do goats too.

    • Spend a little money and set up a website telling the public yo uhh bread healthy dogs. Don’t cheap and use Craig’s list.

  6. Charlene says:

    Dear Craigslist,

    You shut down your “dating” section after multiple murders and rapes that were linked to your website.

    Using animals as fighting bait, bait for wild animals, a haven for animal hoarders and worse – you are contributing to the problem of animal abuse, animal cruelty and neglect.

    Why aren’t you taking the same consideration with those who cannot speak for themselves? Cut them off. No Craiglist ads, no way for the backyard breeders to sell for profit or hunters, hoarders and illegal dog fighters to find their next victims.

    Lead the charge for a healthy pet policy!

    • Christine says:

      Do you really think CL is the only – or even MAIN place for all those things? Then- dog fighting, breeding, and hoarding must have just started.

      How do you think people conducted dogfights in the 1930s?

      Oh – and #WrongFacts -the dating site hasn’t been shut down- nor should it. Do you think people get murdered more b/c of Craigslist? Really?
      Explain the DECREASE in murder rates since Craigslist was founded.



  9. Bying at Craigslist animals is the best choice to find what you looking for. gives people freedom to find the best favorite dream pet.

  10. Chris Marks says:

    Seems like this idea is completely backwards. Rather than Craigslist preventing people from selling dogs entirely, there should be a minimum price of like $300 or more. That would eliminate the use of CL as a way to get cheap animals for whatever nefarious purpose.

    • Hi, I’ve actually scanned Craig’s list and suggested to people who are giving their pets away for FREE. I explained to them what’s gonna happen to them most likely. They seemed completely shocked. REALLY PEOPLE!
      Or they have lashed out at me to mind my own business. I’ll keep preaching.


    • beth that is complete bs i bought my puppy on cs and he is completely healthy my boyfriend got his dog from the shelter and she was full of worms also ” OBVIOUSLY MONEY IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU THAN AN INNOCENT ANIMALS LIFE! I PRAY THAT THEY FIND YOU and THROW YOUR BUTTS IN JAIL AND FINE YOU FOR MORE MONEY THAN YOU GOT SELLING THESE POOR PETS” have you ever thought someone might be moving out of their house into a place that doesn’t allow pets of any kind so people charge a re-homing fee id honestly rather do that instead of send my pet to the pound where they could potentially kill him because they are full.

  12. Joe Fernandez says:

    my wife and i put an add on cl for a free puppy. it is adorable, healthy and very cute. we are obviously carefull as to who would get it. our add was flagged and removed. We checked for other “dog to good home” adds and found one on cl trying to find homes for a whole litter!!
    So…..we are confused. under “prohibited” adds, “pet sales( re-homing with small adoption fee ok),animal parts, stud service”. we feel our add was in good taste and definitely fell within the OK parameters. Please help us understand our add was dropped and can we re run it???

  13. This kind of self righteous “We’re protecting animals” garbage is what contributes to over-full shelters and people abandoning animals or dumping them in a river.

    The few stories about people adopting and abusing animals from Craigslist are very few, yet the self proclaimed animal police are just making things way more difficult for people that really are trying to help animals.

  14. I don’t agree with this. I think that their will always be bad people in the world especially with pets because they can’t fight back. They are just easy prey to sickos. One way or the other they will find the pet, rather it’s from a shelter, purchased, stolen etc.. I bought my puppy at and I was lucky to find him. Had they listened to you guys, I’m sure that I my self along with many others would have not had the success of finding their best friend.

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