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Craigslist: Avoiding Unhealthy Pets

Updated on February 24, 2015

Prevent bringing home a sick animal

Craigslist is the place to go for everything, including living things! Pets are a pretty common thing to buy or take on craigslist. The sad thing is craigslist does a lot of scamming, and there are a lot of users that use it to get rid of sick or unhealthy animals they do not want. There are ways to try to avoid this, but they can be tricky. Many people do not care what happens to the new family with the animal, as long as its out of their hands. This prevention is especially important when you have other animals or kids in the home as they can spread an illness and get everyone else ill as well. There are those that want to "save" animals from being unhealthy and having bad owners, but the majority of the time it cannot be done due to an untreatable illness.


So What Can You Do?

I know from personal experience with getting pets from craigslist, that it can be a tricky business. Most of the time, even people who sell the animals arent giving them away for a good reason. Good pets on craigslist are far and between, not to say it is the animal because the animals are usually wonderful, but they may be sick and suffering. You cannot always tell an animal is sick until later when you bring it home. I have adopted multiple cats that came here so sick that I spent thousands on vet bills where they could just never figure out what it was. There are many reasons for diarrhea or vomiting in cats and sometimes there is nothing you can do. When all your animals get sick because of a new animal you brought in, that's what you know you need to do something about it and learn to prevent it in the future. So how do you know if a pet is not healthy? There are some simple steps you can take to avoid an unhealthy pet due to human behavior and how they go about selling or giving away their pets.


Tips and Tricks to Avoiding a Bad Deal

There are many signs that a pet is probably not healthy and they are giving them away due to a problem with the animal and not because they are moving, or it doesn't get along with other animals in the house. I have heard such stories when a person gives away animals and when I have taken them home they are sick and uncureable. Here are some tips I have found to avoid this.

-When a seller tries only giving away one animal (usually a cat) for free, there is probably a reason such as they want get rid of them asap for a good reason. Many people will even say if not taken by tonight they will go to the shelter.

-When it comes to cats, try to stick with kittens in litters because those are the only legit healthy animals I have found on craigslist. Having a litter is a common practice in this country and they are giving away multiple babies, not just a random 6 month old cat that has some kind of secret illness.

-Dogs are harder to tell when they are unhealthy. However, for the most part every single dog I have gotten from craigslist was sick and infested with fleas and parasites. The litter trick here is true as well, if they are selling babies from a litter it is usually a safe bet.

-Avoid single young 6 months+ animals on craigslist for the most part. You can usually tell they don't look very healthy. However, cats can be far harder to tell with this and that is why you can end up making a bad decision.

Whenever someone is trying to get rid of a sick or unwanted animal it is usually for a reason such as they don't want to handle cleaning up their messes from being sick all over their house and would rather hand it off to someone else even if they have to lie to them.

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My Personal Experience

I have had a lot of experience being an animal person, and getting bad deals on craigslist. The biggest problem I have found has been cats. Many times they are beautiful, rare breeds or just the cat everyone would want. The problem is the second you get it home, you find out something is wrong with it. However, it has been the same case every time. Around a 6 month old cat, and the owner even says there was never any problems with the cat and it has been free. For dogs, nearly every time I have gotten a dog besides a litter pup they have came with parasites and even worse illnesses such as parvo. You have to be extra careful if you have other animals in the home. As much as you want to save animals, sometimes you can't go that route. Not only will you end up having to give it away, but your house may be destroyed from its sickness or you could have trauma from its death.


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    • JessicaSmetz profile image

      Just Ask Jess 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you:) the good thing about shelters is they make all the animals get their shots and be fixed so you don't usually have to deal with health issues since they wont adopt out an animal if its sick. It's a good way to save animals. Going to a breeder is always the best bet but its another option especially when you are low on cash.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience with Craigslist dogs and cats. I've always gone to the local animal shelter to get my dogs and have never had issues. Sorry to hear about your negative experience on Craigslist and I appreciate the heads up.