Sickening ‘Crush’ Cruelty Case Prompts Urgent Warning Against Craigslist Animal Giveaways

PETA Points to Deadly Dangers of Offering Animals to Strangers Online

For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Following the arrest of an Indiana woman who reportedly made and distributed animal “crush” videos—in which she hanged, skinned, and otherwise tortured and killed cats and dogs she’d obtained via Craigslist and other websites—PETA has issued a strong warning against advertising an animal for adoption or sale on Craigslist.

Other recent cruelty cases directly connected to Craigslist include one in which a California man was arrested on multiple felony counts of cruelty after 10 dead cats, some acquired via Craigslist, were found shot, burned, starved, and caged inside a shed on his property. And a Missouri man pleaded guilty to similar charges for stomping on, strangling, and dismembering at least 12 cats he’d obtained via Craigslist. His prison sentence of four years started on June 2.

“Experience has shown us that online ads for free dogs and cats are magnets for animal abusers and killers,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is warning anyone who cares about animals to stay away from Craigslist and never give animals away to strangers on trust—lives depend on it.”

PETA offers the following tips for finding an animal a new home:

  • Always ask potential adopters for photo identification and references, including from their veterinarian. Visit their home—first, without the animal—and ask them why they want to adopt the animal, how they’ve cared for other animals in the past, and how they plan to take care of a new addition. (A sample application and adoption contract are available here.)
  • Always charge an adoption fee, which will help weed out unscrupulous or irresponsible people.
  • Always microchip and spay or neuter animals before they leave your care to prevent the births of more homeless animals and to ensure that if an animal is lost, they have the opportunity to be reunited with their human family.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, the belief that humans’ lives matter more than the lives of other animals. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind