It's getting close to Christmas, and you need the perfect gift. Perhaps a fuzzy free kitten from Kijiji? We heard from a local shelter owner who says you should think twice before buying that pet. We spoke about it with Jill Pessot of Pet Save in Sudbury.
Animal shelters in Sudbury are struggling to deal with stray and unwanted animals and people using websites like Kijiji are to blame, according to one local organization.
Pet Save said people who sell on websites like these encourage impulse adoptions and make it easier for people to dump unwanted pets.
Unwanted pets like Bronx, a one-year-old shepherd mix who hasn't stopped barking and howling since he was brought to Pet Save’s shelter on Wednesday.
Bronx was brought to the shelter after a volunteer saw a posting for him on the classified advertising website. Shelter volunteer Lori Harris said Kijiji has become a dumping ground for pets that might be sick or have behavioral problems.
“I think it’s too easy of a venue for people to get rid of pets that they took on without … being responsible for their vet bills,” she said.
Kijiji is also used by disreputable puppy and kitten mills, Pet Save claims.
Pet Save founder Jill Pessot said her group takes in animals every week that have been bounced around on Kijiji.
“We see everything from puppy mills advertising on there, to people who just got the cute little puppy who just get rid of them when they become a full-grown dog.”
A representative with Kijiji Canada said the website closely monitors its pet ads and takes down suspicious postings — ads that have been up repeatedly or are short on information.
“The alternative is … if we did shut down this category, they would advertise somewhere else,” Shawn McIntyre said. “Possibly somewhere where that scrutiny doesn't exist and maybe they don't care.”
Kijiji alerts the Ontario SPCA when it see suspicious ads, he added.
An SPCA spokesperson said it's important that potential pet owners do their research before adopting.