Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Perils of Craigslist

The Craigslist 'pets' section can be a goldmine for cages that are actually decent for chinchillas/guinea pigs/rabbits, since those cages are impossible to find in pet stores. However, it can also be horrific.
The sheer amount of 'free pet' ads on there are mind-blowing. Here's a tip - if you are offering your small animal for free because you don't want it anymore, it will not find a good home. In fact it may end up being eaten by a snake. I have nothing against snakes, but your pet was not bred to be a feeder animal, and it should not have to go from being in a safe home to being eaten.
The thing about these Craigslist ads is that they shine a very bright light on how aniamls come to be in the Room. A lot of good people simply don't believe how many people treat their pets like this. They think every sad story in the Room is the exception, but it's not. I will always believe there is more good in the world than bad, I've never been a pessimist. But it's a fact that this kind of ridiculous attitude is more common than most people think.
I thought I'd highlight some particular ads I found to show the kind of idiotic reasoning that consistently fills our Room.
 This one is just odd. I know birds aren't crazy breeders like mammals, but if you have a male and a female in a cage with a nest provided, how could you expect them to not reproduce? Maybe they didn't know a nest would prompt breeding but you know what, that drives me nuts. GOOGLE. It's your friend! Anyone can Google! And now they're not keeping any of them? I mean, do you know many people who want 5 zebra finches? I guess someone with an aviary...This one isn't actually that bad, as they come with supplies, are asking a reasonable fee, etc, but it is bizarre.
This one cracked me up. That is not a Dutch rabbit. Jingle (above) is a Dutch rabbit. You have a blue otter dwarf something. This ad also has a common feature: "must go this week-end". So many ads have this ridiculous phrase. MUST GO ASAP! Come on, if you're leaving the country, you knew that before! Why didn't you plan ahead of time? How could your pet be the last thing you planned for?
 This is horrific. "I got him for my 6-year-old but he is not the snake for her." Um. NO SNAKE IS THE SNAKE FOR HER! Snakes are high-maintenance, sensitive pets. They need to be carefully cared for, and they need to live in a low-stress environment. People, do NOT get reptiles unless you know how to care for them. Do NOT get a snake for your child. That poor guy, he's gorgeous, I hope he finds someone good.
 This one is infuriating. "Free to good home. My 10 year old no longer wants them. We got them off here about 6 months ago for giving them away FREE."
Way to teach the children. I wonder if the free ad that originally gave those guys away also wanted them to go to a 'good home'? This is why free ads suck.
And this one is particularly charming. I quote, "i havr 2 turtles i dont want...i am going on vacation and i cant take there."
What's that you say? Going on vacation isn't an excuse for dumping animals? Amazingly, I've heard this excuse a bizarre amount of times.
I'm not knocking Craigslist itself, however. I always try to post birds that show up in our Room, hoping to find their owners, because I know how easy it is for flighted birds to escape. I've never had an owner claim one, but I do sometimes hear from people who want to adopt. That's what happened when I posted Summer, our crooked-leg canary. An experienced canary owner emailed in response, and it sounds like he'll be going to his new home soon!
From one extreme to the other! Craigslist is an interesting site, that's for sure.


selkie said...

I used to check it out all the time (the pets section), I had to stop as it broke my heart. The ignorance of people is breathtaking... and my heart just kept dying for those poor animals that were being dumped.

gracerock said...

I troll Craigstlist every now and then and send "please do not give your pets away for free, seek rescue!" to idiotic people. I rarely get responses, but now and then I'll get a "gee, I didn't know!" response regarding rescue. Duh! To be honest, when I see small animals being given away in Toronto I always point them to Toronto Animal Services South and their small animal room, telling them it really is the best place for them (as opposed to becoming snake food!). Hopefully people heed my warnings and use their brains, but I wouldn't count on it. So if anyone ever comes in with a small animal saying a crazy girl on Craigslist told them to, think of me...or perhaps not...Lol..sorry! :P

Laura HP said...

I used to post lost/found bird ads for ParrotAlert, so I got to see all the ridiculous ads. Some of them are truly mindblowing, I've been wanting to do a post like this for a long time.

Grace, that's awesome! I mean, unless we're really packed, in which case we'll curse your name, it's a good thing. We always say, better they end up with us than dumped in the street or abused. At least with us they have a (pretty good) chance.

Kate said...

That Jingle rabbit looks so cute. As if he is wearing a black shorts and a black mask very interesting feature. I am sure this is the kind of rabbit who struggles to break out of the rabbit hutch for sure. It looks like it has a bad boy image.

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