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Coping with Craigslist

Shelters seek peaceful coexistence with the online juggernaut

Shelters seek peaceful coexistence with the online juggernaut

Bussolati
More than six months after she spotted it, Megan Brooks is still troubled by the “hideous picture” she found last spring in the pets section of Craigslist, the online classifieds powerhouse.

The ad sought a new home for a 16-month-old Columbian boa constrictor. It noted that the snake had “stunning beautiful colors,” was tame, ate well, and got along “with any other pet.” To illustrate this last point, the posting included a photo showing how close the snake was to the family dog: It was wrapped around the dog’s neck.

Brooks, the shelter operations director for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) in Virginia, says she still wonders, “Should I have responded to that and said, ‘Can we have your dog? I think you’re endangering your dog by letting the boa wrap itself around your dog’s neck.’”

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