Dear The eBay,
There are hundreds — maybe thousands, I stopped counting — of listings in your classifieds section touting Valentine’s Day puppies for sale. Many of them are ads from unscrupulous breeders. How do I know? You say so right there in the disclaimer you’ve stamped on every listing:
“Be sure to meet any animal and owner in person. Do not buy unless you can ensure that the animals are kept in sanitary and humane conditions.”
Yet in a great many of the ads, sellers offer to ship their puppies, sight unseen, to buyers miles and miles away. Come on, eBay, you know this is unethical — you warn of it in your disclaimer! But since your advertisers are doing it anyway, let me remind you:
1. No one who truly cares about the welfare of her animals would ship one to a complete stranger in another part of the country. These are the actions of a person just looking to make money, not someone interested in the dog’s future living conditions.
2. Except under very extreme circumstances, those who truly care about the welfare of their animals do not “ship” them at all — a traumatic experience for dogs of any age, but particularly detrimental to puppies.
A perfect example: “Pettievamp” is selling Cane Corso puppies out of New England at $800 a pop. Shipping is available in the U.S.
Sadly, I have a feeling Pettievamp cares very little about anything except quick cash. Cane Corsos are big, strong, intelligent dogs. They’re not a good choice for first-time owners. And if not socialized properly (like any dog) they can become dangerously aggressive around other animals. But Pettievamp is willing to sell you hers, no matter who you are, what you have in mind for the dog, or how able you are to provide the right kind of home.
She even promises:
“All puppies come upto date, health cert. rear dews removed, tails dock,started on puppy pads and puppy pack. Cropping is offered at buyers expense $300(wonderfuly done).”
If as much care is paid to the cropping, docking, and dew claw removal as was to the spelling and punctuation in the ad, what could possibly go wrong?
eBay, you are big company with an opportunity to do the right thing. So I ask you, while there’s still time before Valentine’s Day, eliminate the listings of animals for sale on your site.
Instead, use the DogTime/CatTime adoption portal (we call it the “iframe”) and provide much-needed exposure to homeless animals in shelters all over the country. eBay-ers can search for the dog or cat of their dreams — by breed, gender, age, and zip code — and you, eBay, can facilitate it all for free. Not only that, the iframe lives on your site and maintains the look and feel of eBay without driving away a bit of traffic. Did I mention free?
Seriously, eBay. Set an example, do the right thing. Call us.
Make a difference! Sign the petition here.