Sunday, December 13, 2015

Craigslist Dogs

Since I am having some mild insomnia this morning, I've been awake far earlier than usual (I usually sleep ten minutes past all reasonable and responsible limits.)   I've been getting a lot of housework done and also catching up on e-mails.   There was an e-mail from Glen Highland Farm highlighting their rescue year and there was a section that I found to be very interesting.  GHF has rescued many border collies from Craigslist, from people who wanted a BC but could not possibly handle one.  And I think that is incredible.  And yes I said rescued.

Some backstory: Perri is from Craigslist.   There are a lot of dogs on Craigslist, and they aren't people selling their litter of backyard bred dogs.  They are puppies that people can't handle, dogs that people want to rehome because they are moving, dogs with behavioral problems, dogs who aren't getting along with the new baby.   I don't know why people put their unwanted dogs on Craigslist instead of taking them to a shelter or a rescue.  I suspect that there are many reasons.   I truly believe that some people want to see their dog into a good new home personally rather than surrendering them to a shelter.  I believe some people want to charge an "adoption fee" to make back some of the cost they originally spent on the dog, that is not an option when surrendering to a rescue.  As crappy as that seems to me, like reselling a used car, I would much rather see people charging money for their rehomed dogs than the "Free to a Good Home" dog.  Free to a Good Home dogs on Craigslist are at risk for ending up in the wrong hands very quickly.  I used to have a manager at work who would send angry e-mails to anybody listing their animal for free.  If I personally see any dog offered for free, I try to send the link to a rescue - breed specific if possible - so that somebody can get the dog out of there and safe.

I feel silent judgement from people because Perri is from Craigslist.  I have never claimed that I rescued Perri, and I never will.  I think people see her "fancy" coloring and think I bought her from a backyard breeder.  No.  Perri's prior owners purchased her as a puppy from a dog day care manager who also operated her own doodle/poodle puppy mill* and they listed her on Craigslist at 5 month old for behavioral issues. (chicken tormenting/killing.)  Her listing was very simple.   A photo of solemn stoic Perri looking down at the ground away from the camera and the text, "5 month old female standard poodle puppy.  Does not get along with chickens."  

Perri on Day One.

Other rescues are saving Craigslist dogs, too.  In fact, when Perri had her Canine Good Citizen test seven months after she came to live with me, I started chatting with another standard poodle owner who was waiting to test her poodle.  I remember how beautifully he was groomed, and how I admired him - I still had so much to learn about poodles.  When I told the owner the circumstances of Perri coming to live with me she was shocked.  "You will not believe this but I volunteer for a local poodle rescue and we were literally driving to get the 'Chicken Dog' because we always try to get poodles off Craigslist so they don't end up in the wrong hands...and she was gone when we got there.  We have always wondered what happened to her."  
She was so happy to see the Chicken Dog in a home who cared enough to train Perri and bring her to a CGC test!

There are so many dogs in rescues.  But there are also so many dogs on Craigslist.  Rescues are becoming stricter and stricter about their adoption requirements - Michelle on Team Unruly wrote an excellent post about that subject, "Not Good Enough".  I am personally Not Good Enough. (No fenced yard, crazy work schedule, not all unecessary vaccinations up to date.)  I know more and more people who want to adopt a dog who are also Not Good Enough.   They want to help a dog in need, they don't want to buy from a breeder - but for whatever reason, they are Not Good Enough.  So, I tell those people to check on Craigslist.  Those dogs need help too, and the money isn't going into a puppy miller's pocket.

*Perri's "breeder/miller" has since been shut down for filthy conditions.  I often do google searches trying to get more information about Perri's past, but often come up empty.  I did find one site with reviews of Perri's breeder and more than a handful of poor reviews state that their dogs have separation anxiety, general anxiety, and fear issues.  Just like Perri.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I totally think of craigslist as "Rescue!" They are one step removed from the owner going to the shelter or a rescue. I've gotten ferrets from craigslist, all from people who had no idea how much work owning a ferret would be. And even at work we have looked at craigslist and have gotten prospective service dogs from craigslist.

    I was initially rejected from a rescue I wanted to adopt a rat from!!! WTF people!