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How to Create a Great Craigslist Pet Ad

Updated on July 28, 2011
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

Know Your Audience

If you are reading this, I am assuming you have an adorable little animal that you can no longer take care of for whatever reason. A great way to find a new home for your pet is to create a Craiglist pet ad. Obviously, the better your Craigslist ad, the more likely you will find someone to take your pet in a timely manner. I am not here to judge you. Perhaps you are moving. Maybe you just developed some allergies. There is a chance that you've recently determined you are simply not a pet person and if you do not get rid of Fluffy, you are going to freak out.

Whatever your reasons, you have obviously decided pet ownership for this particular animal is not working out. This happens sometimes. If you are really serious about making sure Fido or Fifi go to a good home, you need to get serious about the pet ads you are placing on Craigslist.

Currently, I am considering adopting a new pet. Quite frankly, my hamster just passed away and I am looking for a new friend. I am at a vulnerable stage, so I am pretty open-minded about the situation. Is your pet really cute? Can you give me a good sob story about how you want to save him or her from the shelter? Well, this is just what I need to hear.

Let's face it, if you are getting rid of your pet, you need to promote your pet. There are a ton of ads on Craigslist, so you are competing against them. You need to also know your audience. The average person poking around on Craigslist in the Pet Community section obviously likes animals. This person probably wants a good deal or wants to feel like they are helping out an animal in need. If you want to get rid of your pet, you need to keep this in mind. So when you are writing the ads, think of someone like me: animal lover, looking for a bargain, and perhaps in a vulnerable state. Now write your ad. Here are some other helpful hints.

What Makes Your Pet So Cute?

When I am looking for a pet, I am looking for a pet that stands out. Every pet is cute in its own way. If you somehow have the ugliest pet ever, make that sound cute. Yes, there are people that will fall in love with your hideous pet. Either that, or they will adopt that animal out of sympathy. Obviously, this is a person that cares about animals, so no matter what, the animal should be happy.

Here is an example of an ad that needs improvement: Female guinea pig to good home. Send email for more information and rehoming fee.

Really? Is that all you are going to give me? It's FREE to post on Craigslist. You can post as much as you want. Give me more. I am not going to email you to learn everything about this guinea pig. You should include that in the ad. Also, give some type of price in the ad so I know whether this is worth my time. There are other people out there posting more details and not making me work so hard just to learn about your pet. I am going to contact them instead.

Here is a list of what you should include in the ad:

  • Animal's age
  • Animal's general health
  • If pet likes children or other pets
  • Is pet friendly?
  • Why are you getting rid of pet?
  • Cute habits
  • A picture if at all possible (if not, a description of pet's appearance)

When I see an ad with a cute pic, I am so much more likely to respond to the ad. Also, people really do want to know why your pet is special. What makes the pet cute? Imagine how much better the previously listed ad would work if more details were added, such as: Adorable female guinea pig to good home. She is only 6 months old, but we are moving and can't keep her. Pixie is a happy, healthy pet. She loves children, she is really outgoing, and her favorite snacks are carrots. Rehoming fee is $30, but it also includes cage and other supplies. Please send email for more details and photos.

Aren't you a little more interested in the guinea pig now? She sounds absolutely adorable. Most readers are going to respond to an ad like this before responding to the ad that was not specific enough.

What People Really Think of Your Ad If It's Too Vague

I know some people like to keep it short and straight to the point. However, adding a few extra sentences can make a major difference on Craiglist. When you post a pet ad and barely add any details at all, it raises a red flag.

First, I start to become concerned that you spend no quality time with your pet at all. I understand, some people are honest enough to state in the ad, "We no longer have the time for our pet." Thanks for your honesty, but no matter how busy you are, you should at least know what your pet likes to eat or if the pet is friendly. If you do not list simple things like that in the ad, I am concerned that you have neglected the pet. Some people will not bother contacting you at all since they do not want to deal with an animal that has not been socialized.

Second, if you have no details at all, I wonder if you really own the pet. If you are charging a rehoming fee, but not offering a cage or any other supplies, where did you get this animal? Is this really a stray and you are trying to cash in? Did you just snatch the animal from the pet store? There are some shady people on Craigslist and I don't want to take my chances.

Third, if you do not give enough of a description, I start to wonder if you can't stand your pet at all. It makes me wonder if you have the most obnoxious animal on the planet and you can't think of one nice thing to say about it. If that is the case, I am not interested in your pet. If you don't give me enough details, I might just think your little critter is a little demon and I am not playing with that!

Last but not least, please be honest about the pet's age and/or health. If you do not list an age or you are really vague about it, I am going to assume you are trying to get rid of an old pet. Trust me, I understand it is difficult to lose a pet, but if your pet is old or sickly, it is not fair to give or sell it to someone else. No one wants to watch a pet grow old and feeble, especially a person that just got a pet believing they had many years to spend with their new friend. So please be honest in your pet ads.

Time to Say Goodbye

I hope this has been helpful information for you and I hope you find a great home for your furry or feathered friend. Craigslist is an extremely helpful site when it comes to placing free ads. It is sad to part with an animal under any circumstances. Just remember, your pet deserves a kind, loving home. The better your Craigslist pet ad, the more likely your pet will go home with the right family. Good luck creating your Craiglist ad and good luck to your pets in their new, happy home!

UPDATE: By the way, if you are going to pose in your Craigslist pet photo with your pets, please put your shirt on. This rules is for males and females. No one wants to see you posing shirtless with your cats. If anyone does respond to your ad, I am sure they will say, "When I come to pick up the cat, please put a shirt on." It's just a little creepy.


Submit a Comment

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am sorry you had to give up your cats. It is such a bummer that some apartment buildings don't allow cats. I am glad someone else has seen the ads I am talking about. I still check out the ads every now and then because I would like to adopt a canary, but canary breeders are tough to find now. Some people just don't realize how much other people want to adopt their pet, but they need to give more info. Thanks for the comment!

  • JessShow profile image

    JessShow 6 years ago

    I know exactly what you mean. I was just looking through hubs and came across yours. I recently had to give away my two cats because the place I was moving didn't accept them and I didn't really have a choice. It was so heart breaking. I had my cats since they were wee ones. So I turned to craigslist to advertise about them because I didn't want to take them to a shelter. I wrote the most detailed description I could about them because I wanted people to know how I felt about them and how much they mean to me. For the people who just write a short, one-two sentences about there pet gives me the impression that they don't care much about there pet. But that's just my opinion and may not necessarily be true. I do think writing a good advertisement though will get you what you need.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you! It is sad to think of all the pets that could be adopted if their owners just added a couple of sentences to their Craigslist ad.

  • manthy profile image

    Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

    This is a cool hub - and it really gives the reader some good ideas, Kudos

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you for your kind words. Bella was a bit of a Hubpages celebrity. Poor thing never knew that! I am glad you found the hub informative. I can't believe some of the ads out there. Thanks for the comment!

  • Cogerson profile image

    Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

    Sorry to hear about your hamster...I am sure he was glad that he was a subject of some of your hubs that you are sharing with the hub world as well as the entire world. I am currently not getting rid of either of my pets but I still found your hub interesting and informative and as always humorous....voted up.