I have gotten MANY Ferrets from Craigslist, some “free to a good home” and some for a nominal charge. As we celebrate our first full year with “Marcello” the ferret and have adopted “Noah / Faith, Alex, Itchy, Jedi, and Otter (Doc)” – and send pictures back regularly to their former owners, I was disturbed to see this post on Craiglist:

From an Anonymous Craigslist Post:

Everywhere

2013-06-18, 9:27PM CDT

So, what really happens to “free to a good home” dogs?

– Last year, Jeffrey Nally Jr. was charged with 29 counts of animal cruelty because of the massive number of dead animal found on his West Virginia property. Nally had obtained at least 29 animals through “free to a good home” Craigslist ads, just like the ones we responded to.

( http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/official-29-dogs-killed-woman-held-captive-for-mon/nDZFC/ “Nally used classified ads to locate and obtain the animals, often finding people to willingly drop off their pets thinking they had found a good home, police said.”)

– Patricia Hervey of Texas, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of animals at her Bexar County home. Hervey prowled Craigslist for “free” animals, claimed to run an animal shelter near San Antonio, took money from dog owners to use to re-home them, then shot and killed them, dumping their bodies in a lake behind her home. (http://www.tx-blog.com/2012/05/01/animal-shelter-called-house-of-horrors/ But animal advocates say Hervey took animals in for a fee, kept them in filthy conditions and then adopted out only some of the animals while killing others to make room for more.)

 

– Dogfighting circles use free Craigslist dogs as “bait dogs” for training their own dogs to fight without risking injury, or they take in free dogs and train those to be fighters as well.

 

– Other groups, called “Bunchers” scour classifieds for free dogs, then sell them to laboratories for animal research and experimentation.

 

– And, sometimes, a free ad for re-homing a purebred, unaltered dog will result in the former family dog being picked up by a puppy mill breeder to spend the rest of her life as a caged, malnourished, unloved breeding machine.

 

The people looking specifically for “free to a good home” dogs will go to great lengths to appear legitimately interested in providing a perfect, loving home for the dog. They present themselves as well-to-do, responsible dog lovers. They often bring children along to meet the dog and owner to avoid suspicion. They will make up elaborate stories about previous pets, a perfect home and yard, and promise to provide a loving forever home to the helpless animal.