Craigslist pet scheme might be a hoax, police say

Craigslist pet scheme might be a hoax, police say »Play Video
Photo courtesy Flickr user pagedooley (Creative Commons).

MARION COUNTY - Reports of a possible Craigslist scheme involving collecting domestic animals for target practice is now falling off the radar of police, who say they have been unable to confirm such a thing is actually happening.

Over the weekend, the Marion County Sheriff's Office stated that they had been getting calls from folks who said they had posted a pet listing on Craigslist and then been threatened by phone and email. The callers reported that they were told that their pet might be used for target practice, a religious sacrifice or deviant sexual acts.

The phone calls and emails were likely the result of a story about the possibility of something like that happening that has been spreading on social media networks, like Facebook. This is the message that is making the rounds:

On Monday, the sheriff's office said they have been unable to confirm that any such acts are taking place and that this may be a hoax.

The sheriff's office did say that if they do find that someone is using pets from Craigslist for target practice, or for other crimes, that they would definitely take action. However, at this time they are moving away from the investigation.

Although the case is for all intents and purposes closed, folks who have tips that might narrow down whether this is true or not can still contact the Marion County Sheriff's Office:

  • Call the tip line - (503) 540-8079 (you can remain anonymous).
  • Send an email to Deputy Mark Ferron.

The Oregon Humane Society says whether it's a hoax or not, you should not give away animals for free to strangers. They say there are people who collect pets to sell for medical research, to abuse or to use for training for fighting dogs.

So what can you do? The Humane Society suggests that you charge a small fee, learn more about the potential new owner and meet at the owner's home first. If they don't agree to that, do not give them the animal.