Buying pets on Craigslist is prohibited

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A website that gets more than 50 billion views a month is in the spotlight Wednesday.

That site- Craigslist.

ABC 17 News told you about the new crime of "pet flipping," in which people steal animals and then sell them online.

According to rescue groups and police, Craigslist is the No. 1 place for criminals to sell those pets.

However, selling pets on Craigslist is actually prohibited.

In Craigslist's terms of use section, it says pet sales are prohibited. The site does allow what is called a rehoming fee, though a small charge to put their pet in a new home.

That is now how several savvy Craigslist users have gotten around this rule.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster does not find this to be an issue. He wrote on his blog, "Re-homing via classifieds is a solution- not a problem. Countless pets find good homes of CL (craigslist), saved from unnecessary euthanization."

A number of organizations are petitioning on the internet to get rid of Craigslist's pet section all together. They claim animals obtained through Craigslist can be used for bait in dogfighting, sold to research labs or even tortured.

In a recent case, a man bought kittens off of Craigslist in Alabama to later stomp them to death in his kill room.

So how can this selling vs. rehoming of pets be regulated?

Craigslist has not responded to ABC 17 News.

However, we found that users are the ones with power to regulate the site.

If they see something that is prohibited, they can flag it.

The ASPCA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said, "Many puppies sold online come from puppy mills. The only way you can be sure that a puppy came from a reputable source is to see where he or she came from yourself."

ABC 17 News talked with the U.S Department of Agriculture and was told it has been cracking down on online pet sales over the past couple of months.

The department is requiring online breeders to have a federal license. However, it told ABC 17 News that they can't regulate Craigslist pet sales.

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