Open Thread: Craigslist Pets

So, at our house we have been going through the long and difficult process of finding a puppy. “Ooh, that must be so much fun,” people say when you tell them you are puppy-shopping. WRONG. It is not fun. It is the following scene from Jerry Maguire, with Cuba Gooding Junior in the role of the puppy.

Our search has taken us to innumerable shelters throughout the state, where we felt varying degrees of awfulness as we walked away from dogs, which were no doubt good and loyal creatures, but which were nevertheless not our dog. It has also taken me deep into the bowels of Craigslist, a site that runs on desperation the way Wall Street runs on cocaine.

The Craigslist pet section is a catalogue of human failure and its non-human victims. I have rarely felt such a conviction that all humans deserve to be eaten by spiders as I have when perusing the ads for dogs people that are trying to “rehome” (a word that, like “fake news” started out meaning a specific and valid thing but which has since been hijacked by morons who use it to mean whatever they want). The most common story is: “We adopted this dog when it was three months old because we like stuffed animals and also Air Bud. It is now a year old, has tripled in size, and failed to show any promise as a point guard, so we would like you to take it away. For three hundred dollars.” The post is invariably accompanied by a picture of the dog gazing trustingly into the camera, with no clue whatsoever that this photograph will be used to tear it away from everything it knows and loves.

I’m going to spare you a tour of those ads, but I would like to share a similar one that encapsulates the same narrative, to an even more ludicrous degree. I give you: 12 LITERAL MONKEYS

So there’s a lot to unpack here, but let’s start with the number. Twelve monkeys. Sprang for the dozen, eh? What happened there? Didn’t want to get your feet wet with one or two or seven monkeys, to see if the monkey lifestyle was right for you? Do you only buy animals like you buy eggs? Is this all an elaborate homage to the 1995 film 12 Monkeys and its spinoff of the same name?

But moving on from the number, let’s dive into your story. The monkeys are great, you swear. So fun. Like tiny human babies with the faces of old men. The three months (A NUMBER SCARCELY LESS STARTLING THAN THE TWELVE MONKEYS THEMSELVES) you’ve spent with them have been magical. But, you sigh, “family comes first” and you have a real baby coming now to replace your dodecatuplets, a decision you apparently arrived at sometime during the last three months. And of course there is your busy full-time career as a 1995 role-player, complete with hairstyle, sweater, and desktop computer.

The full text of the ad is cut off because it was flagged for removal by Craigslist, which comes as a slight relief, but still. I am ready for the animals to rise up against us. I will allow my body to be ripped apart by all twelve capuchin monkeys; god knows they have earned it.

Aside from the truly heartbreaking stories of wronged mammals, Craigslist has also acquainted me with pet enthusiasts of a somewhat more unusual nature.

That’s right, if you’ve ever thought “gee, I love cockroaches, but I wish they made a sound at me,” then this is your lucky day. There are “almost 100” of these beauties just itching to live in your home and escape from their tank and join forces with the monkeys and take over the world. Make an offer. The bidding starts at your sanity.

Finally, as with any site one is obligated to visit many times, I’ve started to get a feel for the Craigslist pet community. Recognize the old faces. There is “guy still looking for dog that ran away three years ago.” There is “SCAM ALERT: DO NOT TRUST SHARON,” whose words of wisdom have really been quite helpful, though Sharon herself has never materialized. And then there is my personal favorite, a poster whose ads comprise a single word, repeated roughly eight times per day.




I have not clicked on any of them, because I do not a want a pigeon, or god forbid, multiple pigeons, but I truly hope this person finds someone who does.

Now you: share your favorite Craigslist post (doesn’t have to be pet related) in the comments. If you don’t have one in your back pocket, log on to your local chapter and search for fifteen minutes. I guarantee you will learn a lot.


  1. I went onto Craigslist at lunch to try and find an outrageous story to post here. Instead, I found a posting for a pair of kittens (brother and sister). The son has developed breathing problems and they need to rehome them asap. So…………………………. looks like I might be getting two kittens this week

  2. I spend a lot of time on Craigslist looking for instruments and furniture, and back when I was unemployed, a job. Here’s a word for word listing I saved from then:


    SEND PIC AND A CONTACT #. Looking to fill asap”

    Okay, so my first issue is the caps, but like why is the entire post in all caps except the last sentence? Did they guy not find the caps lock button again until the very end? Does he know that it feels like he’s screaming the entire time? Secondly, why the fuck do you need someone sensual to do your filing? Is that what does it for you? A woman with a delicate touch in the filing cabinet? Does he know that personal ads are a thing and he could have a sensual woman meet him for free? There are just so many questions.

  3. And here’s another one I had saved. Honestly, I want to write a comment but I feel like this one stands on it’s own.

    “MOM Seeks Nice Girl 4 SON 25-35 – 25
    She should be White or Hispanic and does not do drugs including POT or a heavy drinker with tons of tattoos. she should not be Ghetto anti social, or have Ex boyfriend drama or baby daddy drama. She should not have more than 1 child.

    Please be between ages 25-35 hwp with goals and be family orientated.
    My son is Hispanic 25 and loves in Westminster he is social and funny handsome loves music and is a people person all around. He is having a hard time finding a quality girl that can keep him interested and not just in the bed because he gets bored quickly . Please be employed and goal orientated I want him married and out of my house before 30. Help rescue He need direction a nice girl who can show him more than just sex…”

  4. Third and final comment (probably. Maybe. I don’t know. I think I’m just excited to finally talk about all the weird shit I’ve seen/done on Craigslist).

    Once, my best friend and saw an ad on Craigslist that was casting for a new MTV show about “relationships with expiration dates”, meaning someone in the relationship was accepting a job cross country or joining the military or whatever. I was moving to Chicago in two weeks, and the description sounded exactly like our situation except for the fact that we weren’t dating. So we figured, what the hell and responded anyway with a long email about our love and then laughed about it for a few hours, until MTV actually emailed us back to set up an interview.

    Long story short, MTV was in love with us but I was leaving too soon for them to get a camera crew out to us. We were Faking It before Faking It was a thing.

  5. I, too, once tried to save a pet from Craigslist. I was moving to the Big City for my very first Big Girl job and wanting my very own cat. (Side note: my family has two cats, and I thought about bringing one of them with me, but didn’t want them to be apart since they’ve been together forever and two cats in my apartment seemed like a bit much.) OKAY, back to the story. So, I found this BEAUTIFUL Himalayan cat for $300. I texted the number listed and waited…for a week. They FINALLY responded in a very vague manner and we texted a few small details back and forth. Then it was back to radio silence from them for another week. I was finally moved to the Big City and hadn’t heard from them for a while so I texted again as a last ditch effort. We set up a time to meet, but the day came and I texted to double-check everything and they never responded.

    In the end, I did not get the beautiful Himalayan kitty, but I did rescue a perfect tortie from the local Humane Society about a month later and she has been the best decision of my life so far.

    Hang in there and don’t give up hope! You will find the perfect pupper and everything will be amazing. 🙂

  6. I’m a little late to the party, but after a quick 10 minute search on craigslist I found the following:

    1. An advertisement for “accidentally bred pets”. That’s it. There’s a contact number but no indication of what type of pet they accidentally bred.

    2. A man selling his 10 gallon terrarium with ants “harvested from [his] backyard”.

    3. A guy selling his 50 live shrimp (tank and water not included).

    4. And somebody selling their parakeet named Fruit Bowl after his multicolored feathers.

    That last one was included because it made me want to go out and adopt the parakeet.

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