Craigslist has a very simple policy when it comes to buying and selling dogs. It says “Pet Sales” are prohibited but an adoption for small rehoming fee is allowed. It a simple policy along with all the other items listed on its website. But it needs to go deeper. People are easily and often casting there pets as adoption when its simply a sale.
I’m quite surprised on how many times a dog comes up in a free or farm/garden section. People just want to give away dogs and animals. I use to be quite angered by this that people would give it up so easily to anyone. I want them to try hard to keep the pet. I have even reached out to some to explain the dangers of giving your pets up on craigslist. But then you have to think, at least they are trying to find a home? In Washington D.C area craigslist, any dogs listed in “free” section are flagged by responsible craigslisters quite quickly. But then you have to think how many go unnoticed in all the other sections.
In the Pets area of the community section, there are hundreds of pets trying to be sold every day. Is it a venue for people to find new homes for their pets or a place for an underground business and profit market. People seem to be making a quick buck with pets. I hope craigslist can somehow find a way to flag these people more. It would take an online warrior to valiantly fight and search for all these ads which is impossible.
If you go to more rural areas, free dogs are all over the place. It might go to show how the spay and neuter tactic is promoted overall. These are where the dogs in vast numbers are reproducing and causing overpopulation issue in many rural areas. I just hope for people to try and do what they can to find a new home or keep these dogs. They need our love and care.
There are quite a few updates on the Pet Overpopulation project. I thought for a long time how I could contribute and what I could do. There are many things you can do but what can make a direct impact. What can do the most good. I was thinking about cities at my previous work with the US Conference of Mayors and what I did. Then it hit me, why not do a Best Practice? It’s something you have done before, it’s something you can share with cities, it’s something people can read and feel they can do. This is it!
I decided to reach out to the City of Tucson council member Steve Kozachik who helped passed an ordinance requiring pet stores to only sell rescue dogs. That was dependent on whether the State of Arizona passed a law that cities do not have that right. I read the articles on the story and it was very small excerpt from the council member. I researched some more and found some editorials by him. He is a strong advocate and vocal as well. I enjoyed that he was willing to stand by and voice strong opposition. He was even willing to break way form the Humane Society because of their willingness to compromise with the state on the issue.
I reached out to him and we had a good talk. He felt what I was doing and how I was going about it was a good thing. I wanted to be direct about the issue, no hiding the tragedies, showing the best of the best to stop the madness, and show people things can be improved. I was also surprised how the pet store with their backers were so easily able to get something passed in the state because it was deemed as anti-business and not something cities should regulate. He then looped me with a few others from the Humane Society. They were initially very willing to help and agreed but then retracted there confirmation for a best practice. They thought it might be reinventing the wheel since others have already said what to do or Humane Society mentioned they know what works and to stick to it. They have been in the fight for years and know what works and not. So who am I to say what is what we should do in this fight.
I sat on this for a few days. I’m not going to lie; it beat me up a little bit. Thinking I had this great idea to help and share with cities and build momentum. But here the stewards of the issue say move on and focus your energy to try another way or their way. Made me rethink if I should do it at all or what I can do would even contribute. But hey, there is no time to sulk and complain, animals don’t get saved with me crying to myself. Animals get saved with action, sulking is done, get back to thinking.
What was odd with me through reading the information and step guides, it seemed like an overpowering wealth of information to dissect and analyze. Sure for somebody who wants to know the ins and outs of the issue, it’s wonderful. I guess you need someone who is willing to read it all to fight and know their stuff. But the whole idea for people to go out themselves and take on this whole fight against the pet system is daunting.
Something just didn’t sit right with me with what to do and what is being done. Not to say its wrong. I just want to see more. Ok so pass a local ordinance. Well I can’t pass local ordinances in my city or county. The city of Tucson just got shot down and overturned. The process takes months or even years. So that’s not likely. I make a post on my social media pages, great! But then how do I keep people do it or if I do it too much it get annoying. Alright so write a letter, I did, and now what wait. This is all going through my head; it just seems like dead ends, not gaining real awareness. But I can’t complain, I need to show there is more than can be done. Go out and do your own work and awareness. Go ahead and change people’s minds.
My initial idea was for pet care was to make a pamphlet or brochure at local community centers to share. But then it evolved into, why not tackle both issues of puppy mills and euthanasia. Why don’t you’ make a stand sharing pamphlets on both issues of puppy mills and how people can keep pets. There we fight both fronts all in one place. Make it simple. Make it something people can understand and share. Get people talking? Also I was thinking what something tangible that people can share and talk about. Why not do a dog tag that shows your dog and you are against puppy mills and love you dog. That’s something a dog or cat can wear anywhere it goes and people can see. Get people to talk. If you don’t have the tag, what does it mean? Where do I get one? So let’s work on that. Let’s work on something we can put together in the community.
I keep thinking how did this come about. This is where it all happens. Where pets come in and where they go. I believe the key is awareness. People are fueling the demand and people want to make dogs to feed that demand. So in the end it is just us causing the issue. The reasons are ridiculous and can all be solved.
I’m in the process of making my brochure and hope to share with pet communities. If they read hopefully they want to keep the pet and if they read enough, hopefully if they can’t handle it, they won’t get one either.