Young Williams sponsorship program changes after Craigslist scam

10:40 PM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
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Young Williams Animal Shelter says a money making scheme tied to adopted animals is leading it to change one of its policies.

"We got lots of animals to adopt, and we have folks willing to help get them adopted," Monica Brown, the shelter director said Friday.

The shelter covers the cost of some adoptions through donations called "Furry Friend sponsorships." That allows people to adopt certain pets at no cost.

But recently, shelter leaders discovered three of those sponsored pets, adopted for free, ended up for sale on Craigslist.

"The last couple was pretty blatant in this room that we're interviewing in, taking photos of the animals prior to their adopting being finalized, and posting on Craigslist," Brown added.

Starting this week, the shelter won't reveal whether an animal is sponsored until the adopter signs a contract. Managers say it's the best way to prevent someone from trying to make money by adopting and then selling shelter animals.

"We as a society think 'it's owed to us, it's owed to us,' and it's so very sad because it's the animals that are suffering."

Brown said in her years in animal services, she's never seen anything like this.

"The public announcement in the building is not the same. We want people to come and sponsor these animals, it'll be a surprise for the adopter. They have to pick the animal because that's the animal that they want."

In one case where Young Williams caught one of their animals on Craigslist, they called Animal Control and got the pet back to the shelter.

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