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One Scottish Dog Serves to Remind All of Online Sales Dangers

This cautionary tale has a name: Kai. A Shar Pei mix, Kai the dog was recently abandoned at a Scottish railway station. As adoption offers poured in from around the world, authorities began to piece together Kai’s past. Unfortunately, the dog’s original family, who’d rehomed him via a website in 2013, possessed no information concerning Kai’s second owner.

Then a crack in the case appeared. After arranging online to purchase Kai, Fin Rayner traveled to the small town of Ayr to pick him up. But when she arrived, Rayner alleges she’d been duped. Kai was not the same dog featured in his advertisement. And when she took Kai for a walk, the seller ran–with her cash deposit in hand. Fearing she’d miss her train, Rayner claims she had no other option than to leave the dog.

Thankfully, Kai’s story will end happily. Donations to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals made Kai’s much-needed surgery for a painful eye condition happen. And once he’s fully recovered, a loving home will carefully be chosen for him. But it does bring to light a troubling new facet of the online sales world in relation to animals. A loophole in Craigslist’s terms of service makes it possible for virtually anyone to sell animals, whether they’ve the purest of motives or not. Even worse, there’s nothing in place to protect against buyers with bad intentions.

In the end, the true losers in all of this are the animals. So please, if you or someone you know find yourself in the difficult position of having to rehome a pet, please do so with the utmost care and consideration. Your local animal shelter and rescue organizations are always the best choice rather than an online option. Trained employees and volunteers working tirelessly to find your pet a new home beats the unknown of placing or answering an ad and hoping for the best every single time.

Please take action today and sign our petition urging Craiglist to ban the buying, selling, and giving away of animals on their site!

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Lydia Lee lives in Seattle with two sweet, if slightly out of control, dogs. She loves reading, food, and the opportunity to make a difference.