Getting to Hate Craigslist

I wrote not that long about about the absurd practice on Craigslist of “re-homing” birds, entirely ignoring the rules that only a small re-homing fee can be charged.  People are demanding hundreds and even thousands of dollars for animals they’re not allowed to be selling and Craigslist relies on the users to report them all and get their ads removed.  Then they whine about how unfair it is that people are reporting their rule-violating ads, like they’re too damn stupid to figure it out on their own.

The rule outlaws the sales of, specifically:

Household pets of any kind including but not limited to dogs, cats, primates, cage birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, fish. Re-homing with small adoption fee OK

The problem is, CL doesn’t define what “small adoption fee” really means.  $20?  $50?  $500?  The point here, according to the CL CEO is to keep people from selling pets or to discourage backyard breeders, but he also says that giving animals away for free is a bad idea.  I agree with him, just handing out animals willy-nilly to anyone who wants them is a bad idea.  People need to be responsible with animals they breed, accidentally or on purpose.  I am very much against backyard breeders, I think all pets ought to be spayed or neutered, that’s why every animal I have who can be fixed is fixed  Altered pets live happier, healthier lives.  By the same token though, letting people stick out their hands when they fork an animal over is also problematic, it just encourages people to keep breeding or otherwise acquiring animals to fleece the clueless rubes.  There has to be a balance.

Now personally, I have done my best to avoid looking in the animal section on CL for years, mostly for the same reason I avoid going to animal shelters unless I actually want something.  It breaks my heart to see all the unwanted animals who desperately need homes.  I wish I could rescue them all and, over the years, I’ve rescued more than my fair share, but there’s a never-ending supply of animals that really need someone to love them.

What’s really getting on my nerves though are the people who will tell a heart-wrenching tale, how they only want what’s best for their pet, how they want someone who can take good care of their animals, then hold out their hand for cash.  So make up your mind, do you want someone who will care for your supposedly cherished pet, or do you want to make a buck?  The answer seems painfully clear on some of them.

What’s worse, IMO, is that a lot of the people who are asking absurd amounts of money are also describing animals that are seriously physically, emotionally or behaviorally screwed up.  The number of “please take my 3-legged, vicious, blind dog off my hands, give me $200” ads are just ridiculous.  Come on, you’re going to be hard pressed to find anyone who wants that dog and you’re going to extort money from them?  Are you out of your fucking mind?

Trust me, I have no problem with people who want to breed and/or sell animals.  I’m entirely cool with that, just be honest about it and keep your ads to places where they’re allowed.  Trying to skirt the rules and play fake sob stories to hook the suckers doesn’t impress me at all.  In fact, it gets me to flag your ad immediately.  And that’s just what I’ve done, I went through and flagged a bunch of ads where it was clear that CL’s rules about re-homing fees were being blatantly ignored.  As far as I’m concerned, no animal of any kind should command more than a $100 re-homing fee.  I might make exceptions if the ad says that the animal will be altered before re-homing and the fee covers that.  Otherwise, I don’t care if you’re re-homing a $10,000 hyacinth macaw, don’t ask for more than $100 on CL or you’ll get flagged.  Either take care of your animals or get them to someone who can, that’s the point of re-homing them in the first place.

So to you idiots on CL, be prepared.  I’m going to be flagging up a storm.  If you want money, go pay for an ad somewhere.  I won’t mind a bit.  If you want someone who honestly will take care of your animal, stop pretending like you’ve got a hole in your pocket.

And beyond all else, JUST  BE HONEST!

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