Junior and Mr. Vox and I like to go to PetSmart and visit their canine adoption center. It’s fun to see the dogs, and we feel like visiting them for a few minutes maybe helps them a little. We hope that when we’re ready to add another dog to the family, we’ll find the right one there.
Since we go every week or so, we’ve gotten to know quite a few of the dogs. One in particular was a favorite of Mr. Vox: she was a three year old female blue-nose pit bull (that means she’s gray/silver in color with a matching nose). Her name was Diamond, and she was just as sweet as she could be. The next time we went back in, Diamond wasn’t there anymore. We asked, and she’d had kennel cough and returned to the Humane Society, but we were assurred she’d be back, since the adoption center is no-kill, so once a dog is in that program, they don’t get put down unless they get a bad disease that can’t be fixed. In the meantime, she did end up getting adopted.
So another thing I like to do is surf Craigslist pet ads and look at the available dogs. As I was looking today, I saw an ad for a pit bull being rehomed and clicked on it. There was a picture of Diamond! The ad said something about how these people just loved their dog, but their new apartment wouldn’t allow pets and they needed to rehome her–they even used the name Diamond! There was a big song and dance about how they paid $350 in adoption fees, but were going to send all the bedding, toys and food they had, plus “lovely Diamond” for just $300. What a bunch of saints. (The actual adoption fee at the center is $75 or less, if the animal has been sponsored by someone.)
There have been rumors of people around here getting free animals on Craigslist and then reselling them or tacking on an exhorbitant “rehoming fee.” I called the adoption center and told the guy there what I suspected was going on. As we were on the phone, he went to Craigslist. I was just saying, “I can’t say for sure that it is Diamond,” when he said to me, “I’m looking at the ad and I can tell you right now, that’s Diamond.” He was going to talk to his supervisor and see if they could get animal control involved to go and take Diamond back, since the adopters are violating the terms of the agreement they have with the Humane Society. I’ll probably call tomorrow and see if there’s been any outcome yet.
What kind of unscruplous sonofabitch would do something like that?! I took the people’s names and phone number out of the ad and started running them through the other listings in the pet section of Craigslist, and I think they’ve done the same thing with a ball python. One poster put up an ad that said something like, “The people who are selling the female ball python traded with me yesterday for this snake. It is actually a male, and I’m sure of this because I hatched it from an egg and bred it later on. I didn’t know they were going to turn around and try to sell it.” There are probably other examples on other classified sites. It seems to me like these people are committing fraud, both against the people/agencies that they are obtaining the animals from, in addition to the folks who are getting the animals and who are being led to believe their rehoming fee is going to just reimburse the people for their expenses.
I have a friend whose husband is an investigator in the county adjacent to us, and he works in the internet crime division of the sheriff’s department. I’m going to ask him if there’s a crime being committed, and maybe he can help me figure out if any action can be taken.
In the meantime, the thought that keeps coming back to me is…what happens to the animals they can’t rehome? Since the pound dogs are micro-chipped, they can’t really take them to the Humane Society. So what’s happening to them? I hope my suspicions aren’t true.