The ad came out on Craigslist and some of my rescue friends put it on my timeline. FREE HORSE. Pictures of a large healthy horse had been included. The owner sounded desperate in the ad to get rid of the horse. This was the perfect combination for this horse to end up in the slaughter house.
I immediately emailed the owner. There was no direct email or phone number, I had to go through the Craig’s list channel. Like some raving lunatic, or actually an animal advocate, I emailed him a long letter of how people looking for horses like this would take it to slaughter. A big girl, worth about .45 per pound on the horse meat market would yield them a pretty penny for her. I told him that I would get her because I did not want the chance she would go to slaughter.
He told me that someone else had first dibs that they had been emailing back and forth. I asked him how well he knew this person, of course, she was just someone that answered the Craigslist ad. I then asked him if we could talk, and he sent me his phone number.
During our conversation I explained to him how people represent themselves as being family people and so caring about an animal. They will show up at your house to look at your FREE dog or cat or horse with small children, pregnant, a husband or wife. They will tell you all about their “other” pets and what great parents they are. They will even bring along pictures.
He was shocked. He said he never heard of such a thing and asked how to weed out the slaughterhouse people, the people that will get a FREE dog for bait or fighting, or cats to use as bait. I gave him a list of questions to ask the potential adopter.
- Who is the vet you use and get a number
- Where did you get your other pets and a number for them?
- Are your pets s/n, utd on shots, if so, who did that and number
- Are you employed, if so, where?
Once the owner of the horse got my list and started asking potential “adopters” these questions, they quit corresponding with him. This was a huge sign that they weren’t legit. He was extremely thankful for my help with this. He did say several other rescues emailed through Craig’s List and warned him of this practice also. I’m now the proud owner of an new horse.
In a perfect world Craig’s List would not allow this, and there wouldn’t be so many evil people out there scanning daily for any new pets added for FREE. But, it’s not a perfect world, and Craig’s List continues to let people post free animals. If you are reading this, you are probably one of the good people, the ones that care about what happens to those free Craig’s List animals. Speak up. Let Craig’s List know you don’t approve of this practice. Also, alert any rescue groups if you do see an ad like this. Let the people advertising the animal know also. Sure, some won’t care. Getting rid of the pet is all they care about, however, I would like to think that the majority of them do care, and we can make a difference by educating the public about what can happen to these free animals.