"I can't imagine being forced to make that choice."
It's very difficult to track how often people rehome their pets on Craigslist and what happens to the pets afterward.
A recent study from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) shows that when people do rehome their pets, in 37 percent of cases it's through a friend or family member, and 36 percent of the time it's through a shelter. But 11 percent rehomed their pets to a stranger.
"The ASPCA actively supports safety net programs across the country, which enable owners to keep their pets in their own homes by providing services such as access to affordable veterinary care or help with pet-friendly housing," Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of research and development for the ASPCA, told The Dodo. "If a pet owner absolutely must rehome their pet, we would recommend exploring options other than Craigslist."
Weiss' recommendations include:
- Reach out to friends and family who may be able to take the pet in.
- Reach out to local shelters to learn what options they may have available for rehoming. Some organizations have virtual bulletin boards and other ways to connect with potential adopters.
- Connect with rescue groups. If you are able to keep the pet in your home and act as a foster home for your pet, that can increase the ways a rescue organization can help you.
- Connect with veterinarians in your community to explore rehoming opportunities they may have available.
Armour agreed that your own social networks are a great place to start. "Friends and family, and their friends and family, can be the key to help you find kindred spirits who would love your pet just as you do," she said. If trying to rehome your pet online, use your instincts and ask potential adopters questions, Armour urged. "If you have a bad feeling about a person, or feel unsafe dealing with them, this is certainly not someone you'd entrust your pet with."