This page is a subsection of the Unofficial Flags FAQ
Page updated 1-14-2011










Unofficial Animals FAQ



Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about posting animals on craigslist.







IMPORTANT: If you found a link to this FAQ (or quoted material) in a Discussion post on your site, often in the Community/Pets advertising category, please understand the authors of this document had nothing to do with it. In fact, we think that sort of thing makes us look bad. Ads like that are prohibited by the craigslist Terms of Use and they are annoying. The only way for you to keep your site free of them is to flag them. Use the "prohibited" flag button. Thanks!.

Many people pass links to this document in the craigslist discussion forums, perhaps the PetFo or The FlagHelp forum. That's the idea. Forums are for discussion.

Onward...


A large number of craigslist users have very strong feelings about the treatment of animals. If you place an ad on craigslist involving an animal and these users do not approve of it they can and will flag the ad off . For information on how the craigslist flagging system (community moderation) works go here. Craigslist staff may also remove ads they find objectionable.

Craigslist itself has a number of rules regarding posts about animals. Some of these rules are very specific, some are more vague. But you agree to all of them every time you post. This is worth keeping in mind.You might want to review the craigslist Terms of Use, especially the Partial List Of Prohibited Items (count down 11 dots), as well as the advisories contained in the category headers and on the posting forms. There are also a number of applicable laws; both the laws in your own state and the laws of the state of California (where craigslist is headquartered) that must be considered.

If your ad on craigslist is flagged off there is no argument and no recourse. You must write an ad that is acceptable to your community. Simply writing an ad that is well within the craigslist TOU is not enough.

If a flagged off ad can be fixed then it is worth reposting. If it cannot be made acceptable to the community then it will be flagged off again. You might ask for opinions on your ad in the craigslist Flag Help Forum. Read this before visiting the Flag Help forum.


Animal ads on craigslist can be divided into three types: Prohibited animals, Livestock and Pets. We will look at each type.















Prohibited Animals

You can post about any animal that is legal to own both in your state and country AND in the State of California, USA. Posting an animal that is illegal to own violates the craigslist Terms of Use on one hand and will often get shot down by readers on the other. For example ferrets and Sugar Gliders are illegal to own in California. According to the craigslist Terms Of Use they should not be posted on any craigslist site.

There has been a fair amount of discussion among users about this business of barring posts that are illegal in California from all of craigslist. Frankly, it seems odd. But see Jim's post here. (Jim is the CEO of craigslist) However if your ad got flagged off you can be sure it irritated the readers on your local site somehow. Always check to see if the animal is legal to own in your state.

More information from the State of California on ferrets is available here and here.







Livestock

Craigslist policies allow you to post ads to buy, sell (or rehome) and breed livestock. These activities are also generally well accepted by users. However you need to ensure your animal actually is livestock and that you post in the correct category.

The difference between livestock and a pet is usually obvious. But there are some gray areas. Rabbits, some potbellied pigs, miniature horses, possibly pigeons and so on may be considered livestock or may be considered pets. Working dogs (farm, herding, sled) are generally considered pets, not livestock. It's completely up to the readers. If the readers consider the animal you are selling to be a pet they will likely flag off your ad.

If you post your livestock in the Community/Pets section your animal will always be seen as a pet, and often flagged. Livestock sales are best posted in the For Sale/Farm & Garden category. If you're in the business of buying, selling, breeding or servicing livestock you should post in the Services/Farm & Garden category. "Services" is the appropriate place for businesses to post. If you sell many animals you may be seen as a business even if you are not. In this case you will also want to post in the Services/Farm & Garden category. The perceptions of your readers cannot be argued with.







Pets

Ads for pets require a good understanding of official craigslist policies as well as an understanding of what users will and will not tolerate.

Always ensure that the pet ad you want to post does not involve a prohibited animal.

Certain breeds of animals, mostly dogs, have a poor reputation simply due to the breed. Call it prejudice, stigma, whatever. But it is a fact of life out there. Certain breeds are also more susceptible to unethical breeding and abusive ownership. Pit bulls are a good example. So the reputation may have more to do with the owners. But still, extra sensitivity and care is required when advertising one of these "hot button" breeds.



Can I sell my pet on craigslist?

Can I ask to buy a pet on craigslist? How about asking for one for free?

Can I breed a pet on craigslist or offer/solicit stud services?

Can I rehome a pet on craigslist?

Can I post my Rescue or rescue pets on craigslist?

Can post pet services like grooming, pet sitting, kennels, veterinarians, etc. on craigslist?


















A: Can I sell my pet on craigslist?

Craigslist forbids the sale of pets. Users will flag off the ads readily. There is a very important distinction between rehoming a pet and selling a pet. See the discussion in Can I rehome my pet on craigslist? Also see Jim's post here. (Jim is the CEO of craigslist)

Top of list of questions.











A: Can I ask to buy a pet on craigslist? How about asking for one for free?

As a rule craigslist forbids you solicit to buy anything you are forbidden to sell. See Can I sell my pet on craigslist? Users will very often flag pet wanted ads off, whether you are asking to buy or wanting a pet for free. Many craigslist users are sensitive about pet overpopulation and especially overpopulation in shelters. They would prefer you obtained your pet from a shelter, rescue or reputable breeder. Some users will also see your solicitation to buy a pet as an offer to support a puppy mill or back yard breeder. See the discussion of these under Can I rehome my pet on craigslist?

Top of list of questions.











A: Can I breed my pet on craigslist or offer/solicit stud services?

The craigslist terms of use prohibits breeding pets. This includes placing a pet at stud. Users will flag off the ad. Many craigslist users are sensitive about pet overpopulation. They would prefer you obtained your pet from a shelter, rescue or work with a reputable breeder.











A: Can I rehome my pet on craigslist?

Yes. Craigslist expressly permits this and readers do not object to the ads. See Jim's post here. (Jim is the CEO of craigslist) However writing an acceptable rehome ad has quite a few fine points.

Most of the problems with rehome ads come from ads to rehome dogs or cats, especially puppies and kittens. Rehoming a goldfish or parakeet is not as difficult. This is due to the strong opposition of many craigslist users to Back Yard Breeders (BYBs) who breed animals for profit. There are many arguments against the practice of Back Yard Breeding (or puppy mills). They will not be detailed here. However even being suspected of being a puppy mill will bring a fair amount of anger down on your ad.

The BYBs in turn find their business quite profitable and continually try to run ads to sell their animals, often deceptively as "rehomes". This makes for a very suspicious readership.

Craigslist readers will often seem to care as much about your animal as they do about their own. They often see all animals as their animals and apply their own judgements and standards to your actions.This is something you need to be sensitive about for your ad to be acceptable to the community.

To an extent a pet rehome ad is a type of personal ad. But you are connecting animals with people rather than people with people. You want to 'keep it positive'. For example using emotional blackmail (eg “...about to be put down”), is something that contributes to the urge to flag an ad. Writing an ad from 'the pets point of view' can also be iffy.

Some things people want to see:


Craigslist permits you to charge a small rehoming fee when rehoming an animal. A consensus of readers explains a "reasonable rehoming fee" this way:

NOTE: There are MANY opinions about what constitutes a "reasonable rehoming fee". The net is full of them. Don't take what is written here as absolute gospel. We hope these guidelines will help your ad to be successful on craigslist, but things vary quite a bit from one site to another.



If you offer your animal "Free" it can be wise to state that the animal is free both in the headline and the body of the ad. Remember that some people like to see a reasonable rehoming fee as part of the effort to find an animal the best home (you can always advertise this and then waive it for the 'right' home). You are not required by craigslist itself to charge a rehoming fee. Your free pet ad would be best posted in the Community/Pets section.

There are many other resources other than craigslist for rehoming a pet, you may want to talk with a Rescue group (including breed specific rescues) in your area.

Top of list of questions.











A: Can I post my Rescue or rescue pets on craigslist??

Yes. Ads by Rescues advertising pets are generally well tolerated in the Community/Pets section. However Rescues can run into a few problems there too.

Top of list of questions.











A: Can I post pet services like grooming, pet sitting, kennels, veterinarians, etc. on craigslist?

Yes. As a commercial enterprise you would want to post in the Services/Pets category. Because craigslist prohibits pet breeding (and users will flag such ads) you should not post pet breeding or stud services of any kind. See: Can I breed a pet on craigslist or offer/solicit stud services?

Top of list of questions.

Top of this document.

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