View Full Version : Selling Cavaliers online using free classified ads

17th January 2011, 05:09 AM
I don't want to mention the name because I do not want to get forum in trouble even though this website is legal and has certain disclosures, I find it heartbreaking to see so many people posting ads for puppies online.

Karlin, I was shocked and happy to see your name appear when I was reading online.

I did not mention Cavaliers but I did quote you which I hope you do not mind.

When I read this article it was interesting to see a very familiar name Karlin Lillington who I know from http://www.cavaliertalk.com/ however this is not just a problem for Cavaliers, it is a problem for animal welfare.

http://dogtime.com/internet-puppy-mills.html (http://dogtime.com/internet-puppy-mills.html)

"Mass breeders may say they house the dogs in their own home and post photos to "prove" these claims. In fact, they commonly set up fake web sites to purposely mislead potential buyers. "In general, the Internet makes it very hard to know who and what you're dealing with," says Karlin Lillington, who runs www.cavaliertalk.com (http://www.cavaliertalk.com/), a website for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels enthusiasts. "Remember the famous cartoon, 'on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog'? Well, no one knows where that dog really comes from either."

I do think people should know that for the several breeders doing what they can for Cavalier health, online is so overcome by ads that it is hard to even find cavalierhealth.org, this forum, clubs, etc. So please I wish we could stop making it so easy for people to get Cavaliers without knowing so many things to ask and just by seeing AKC thinking it is ok. The AKC says they do not have any claims to guarantee health and are registration for pedigrees. They do however, contribute money for health but the actual parent clubs are who really are the ones to look to for guidelines on things to ask.

17th January 2011, 04:54 PM
Dogtime is a great site (not because they interviewed me for that story, I hasten to add! :lol: But they have great site policies, forums, expert bloggers, resources etc). I recommend it as a good general dog information site. :D They were doing some work on puppy farms/mills and as I'd written about this and researched the area in Ireland -- the source of many poor quality supposed "champion line", "home-bred" cavalier puppies and imported parents in North America and the UK -- they contacted me to talk about the issue. That was a while back though!

Probably the majority of dogs are sold through online classifieds these days or "breeder" sites who are either puppy mills/farms or very poor quality breeders offering dogs at lower prices. Setting aside the risk of health to any dog bred or sold by such people, the act of buying from these people makes the puppy buyer just as firmly a part of the problem as the puppy farmers/millers themselves.

Please folks, never delude yourself with excuses about why it is OK just this once to buy from someone like this. If you did so in the past because you were duped by these people then that's clearly not your fault -- but I see too many talk about focusing only on health focused breeders, read up enough so they know whatthey should be looking for, then 2 days later they have a puppy and clearly never asked for nor got any of the recommended health clearances and know little about the breeder at all, just decided the puppy was cheaper/available and they wanted one now.

If people didn't buy, these people would be out of the breeding business. And that is all it is to them -- a business, no devotion to the breed, and typically, zero knowledge (amazing they sell online and obviously use the internet, yet never googled the word 'cavalier' which would bring up all sorts of discussion on good breeding practice, health issues, etc...).

17th January 2011, 05:35 PM
Thanks Karlin and I would like to add how heartbreaking it is for truly great breeders who are doing things for health to be fighting an uphill battle.

Obviously there is no excuse for any breeder in a club to use this as an excuse for not following breeding protocols but how unfortunate for those who are, the people wanting to help support those, people who care and spend so much time on issues, rescues etc to be trying to reach people.

The internet is awesome because of forums like this and access to helpful information yet many people are fooled and unless really taking time... sorry just hate for any animal to end up with health issues, abandoned, abused...

I may add that some breeders have said how frustrating to talk to people, go over things, and then find out they just go online and disregard these things. I know cute pictures and people may not want to wait for right puppy, but if anything it is also hurting.

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17th January 2011, 05:45 PM
I should clarify that it isn't the internet I have an issue with as many good breeders use it -- and if they didn't, to host websites and in some cases, small adverts for their kennels, then you concede a major marketplace where people go to look for dogs these days entirely to the millers/puppy farmers/poor breeders.

The important thing is that people MUST understand what to ask for when interviewing breeders and our links to puppy buying guides on the main forum page (right hand column!) enumerates those. These also help people understand how to weed out the more obvious 'problem websites' and ads.

In the US the absolute minimal starting point for getting a puppy should be that the breeder is ACKCSC or CKCSC registered -- just having AKC registered puppies is NOT ENOUGH. I can guarantee that 99.99999999% of small ads or websites will NOT be breeders with these club affiliations.So that is a good starting point.

Likewise KC (UK) or IKC (Ireland) or CKC (Canada) registration is NOT a mark of quality or healthful breeding. It is merely a registration -- which while it is the bare minimum to start with, says absolutely nothing about the breeder or their breeding approach outside the fact that they got hold of two registered dogs (easy to do!) and bred them together.

18th February 2011, 03:38 AM
When I heard ebay was selling puppies online using there classified section I was told they can't do that they do not sell animals or firearms but I pointed out to felissa at Www.twolittlecavaliers.com that they are which she immediately took action and got the attention of change.org. in just a couple of weeks it has reached over 60000 signatures. There is obvious concern with the welfare and health of cavalier puppies sold on classified ads. I will guarantee not a single reputable breeder or anyone who is actually following health protocols would put a puppy for sale to be shipped and as a classified ad. I can't post the actual link to it because I'm on the phone but www.twolittlecavaliers.com should have it. Please sign the petition.

18th February 2011, 07:07 AM
I disagree a bit here: there are reputable breeders who advertise on some of the breeder classified sites because they do not want to give up that entire space to the junk breeders. Huge numbers of people get their dogs online and at least by being there, reputable breeders have a chance to educate. It is true that MOST will not be reputable and so as I said above: people should worry more about checking out individual breeders and not worry as much about where they initially find their contact information.

eBay is a different issue -- it is against their policy to have live animals advertised. However it is very difficult to police that. What is the point of the petition if they already have a policy against such ads? As with any inappropriate ad, people need to notify them and they do remove them. But people post thousands and thousands of items daily -- they do not have employees who examine each ad before it is posted.

Craigslist however has allowed dogs to be posted in the past. I am not sure what their current policy is.

BTW change.org has nothing to do with this directly nor did anyone have to get their attention :confused: -- Change.org is just a free petition/campaign site, and anyone can go set up a petition. It is great lots of people are concerned about the issue of free ads for dogs but if the point is to demand eBay not list puppies when they already have a policy stating just that, I am not sure what the end goal is?

18th February 2011, 07:20 AM

That is the point I made that people didn't believe it because they had a policy in place but are going around it by using classifieds. It is extremely deceptive and goes around our whole system because unless they are inspecting each breeder, then it goes around inspections and everything established to check welfare and inspections.

Yes there are websites online of a very good breeder one with MRI images but this is an issue that is completely helping puppy mills and back yard breeders.

It is a huge issue and even worse than Craigslist because it knew how people felt about selling animals online and do not do it on the ebay site as auction instead now have a pet section on classifieds.

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18th February 2011, 07:22 AM
The actual goal is to have them work with petfinder and actually help rescues and not allow people to post ads for puppies for free

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18th February 2011, 07:28 AM
My mistake: I didn't realise their classifieds allow pets to be sold. I didn't even know eBay had classifieds.

However I really don't think classifieds are the problem. It is simply a selling format. The vast vast majority of people will do NO research on a breeder and plenty of club breeders are little better than puppy farmers with large numbers of kenneled dogs and little to no health protocols.

I don't think the kind of misleading information typically seen on questionable breeder websites is preferable to a classified ad. Club lists of breeders give no indication of the kind of breeder that person is and many clubs have absolutely no requirements that members do a single thing as far as testing/health protocols go. Also many rescues use classifieds because they know that is where people look for a new companion.

The bottom line remains the same: buyers need to be educated, they need to do proper research, and they need to be willing to pay for a quality puppy from breeders who put in the time and money to breed carefully and test.

Sadly 99.9999% of puppy buyers opt for the breeder who will give them a puppy now, in the colour they want now, at a lower cost. And lots of people who think they went to a health focused breeder are misled. It comes down to hard research, asking questions, and paying what it costs to support a good ethical breeding programme. Whether the breeder and their puppies are mentioned in a classified ad, on a club site or on a webpage makes no difference in differentiating the kind of breeder they are. I don't like classifieds generally but I think there are much bigger issues. I also doubt many puppy mills use classifieds -- most sell on to petshops and brokers who use websites, they don't sell puppies directly or individually.

18th February 2011, 08:27 AM
Your right about people needing education and the majority of people just seeing a face and not doing research. As I see it if there are puppies being sold at 5 weeks the first time someone searched it is a problem to me.

Whatever is going on elsewhere does not make it right. It is just a petition because I personally don't want things easier but people will always do what's easy and can get right then.

Those that think they shouldn't then I leave it to them.

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18th February 2011, 09:24 AM
I'm also very concerned by the use of free Internet ads for older dogs, many of which appear to be aimed at potential breeders, many of whom will be puppy farmers.

My particular hate is the "Free to a good home" formula, where owners misguidedly don't want to appear to be money-grabbing and think their animal will somehow go to a kindlier home. From many of the "sad stories" it does often look as though the owner is genuinely trying to find a good new home, but of course they run a grave danger of handing over their beloved pet to a disreputable breeder, posing as a kind and caring family.

When I come across such a case, I often respond to the advert with (hopefully) helpful advice and information about various rescues which would ensure that the dog gets to a genuine forever home. It makes me feel better, but I have to say that I very rarely ever get any response to my messages, which leaves me wondering....

18th February 2011, 12:17 PM
I am running two adverts on these of type websites, warning people to research the breed before they buy. Have had a couple potential pet buyers respond positively as they had no idea of the problems surrounding the Cavaliers and all the other issues.

18th February 2011, 05:30 PM
Tania that's a great idea. I think if classifieds are free, a great approach is to use them as a rescue and educational tool to inform people as rescues and welfare people can also use them.

My particular hate is the "Free to a good home" formula, where owners misguidedly don't want to appear to be money-grabbing and think their animal will somehow go to a kindlier home. From many of the "sad stories" it does often look as though the owner is genuinely trying to find a good new home, but of course they run a grave danger of handing over their beloved pet to a disreputable breeder, posing as a kind and caring family.

Yes those are issues too, Marie-Anne, with no real answer. The problem is that rescues -- me included (and this angle was a major burden for me and one reason I had to give up rescue) -- just cannot take on the volume of dogs being rehomed by people through ads. I do sometimes instead try to contact people to tell them to neuter. A neutered dog is absolutely safe from ending up in breeding situations and almost always is going to go to a decent home.

I do believe the majority of dogs sold anywhere end up in OK to excellent homes. Most are homed to people who genuinely want a dog. Such people are almost never going to buy from a club breeder or pay the 'normal' amount for a decently bred pedigree dog. Club breeders cannot possibly meet the demand for dogs, either, and a lot f people want pedigree dogs, and want puppies. This is one reason why I think good health and welfare must be legislated for and mandatory along with good consumer laws to support purchasers IF breeders have done no testing/knowingly breed affected dogs (after all over 99% of pedigree dogs are registered to non-club breeders in the UK and US and Ireland --not to show breeders most likely to use health protocols in the first place. These need to be targeted and forced to breed responsibly. They won't do anything that increases their costs voluntarily). There also isn't a person in rescue who hasn't carefully homechecked only to find later they've homed to a questionable home that came across as excellent -- which generally returns the dog sooner or later. So while I believe fully in the rescue process of homechecks, it isn;t failsafe either and am not sure it is any better than a good talk with a prospective new home.

I think small ads/classifieds are the only way most people can rehome a dog and if they weren't there, many more dogs would pour into kill pounds and increase the already impossible load on most rescues (this is why I say people need to always consider what alternative the expect to be there -- Petfinder is not remotely aedquate and only deals with a tiny number of dogs needing rehoming through rescues and shelters -- NOT all the personal rehomes (the majority!) nor puppy sales. Most rescues I know of do not consider personal rehomes to be 'rescue dogs' per se (including me) and many won't take them (thus being burdened with doing work the family can't be bothered to do much of the time... :x), arguing instead that the owner has to take some responsibility for responsibly rehoming. For every rescue, that starts with neutering. Unfortunately, in the UK especially but also Ireland, there's a tendency never to neuter dogs and this alone is what creates the greatest risk for the dog to end up as a breeding machine (or contributing to the further decline of the breed through poor breeding -- many people will like the idea of having a litter just for fun and profit :( ). Puppy farmers definitely acquire dogs through small ads -- I am sure my Tansy was one such case. A lot of my ex puppyfarm dogs were clearly once someone's (unneutered) pet. So the question here comes back to: **what happens to all the dogs and pups currently rehomed, mostly to decent homes, through classifieds?** No matter jhow well intentioned such a petition, the REALITY is huge numbers of those dogs will instead die in kill pounds when people have no where else to try and rehome or place puppies.

I know there are many good intentions but a lot of these ideas are half-considered and do not have adequate answers for what the alternatives will be. I know in Ireland that as much as I dislike Donedeal and Buy&Sell, if people couldn't home dogs through those, they would instead be dumped in the pounds and even more would die. There isn;t any reasonable alternative to classifieds. And rescues can only manage a tiny proportion of the dogs needing new homes.