Pets

Buying 'miniature' pets on Craigslist often leads problems, local veterinarian says

Pets often too young to be separated from mothers

Buying miniature pets on Craigslist...

EL PASO, Texas - Buying a pet on Craigslist may be easy to do, but a local veterinarian says many times it can lead to problems. 

Dr. Nancy Harvey says she sees tiny puppies and kittens that are too young to be away from their mothers.

"They should still be nursing. It's such a common thing for owners to pretend their dogs are older than they are," Harvey said, "Often, these small animals don't know how to eat solid food and become sickly."

Dr. Harvey said, oftentimes, sellers will tell buyers their dog is a "teacup" Chihuahua or poodle, when in fact, they're big dogs that are only 4 weeks old.

The most common illnesses these tiny animals have are parasites, and that can not be diagnosed simply by looking at an animal or its stool. It's something that must be tested at a veterinarian's office. 

If you are interested in adopting a new pet, Dr. Harvey suggests the Animal Rescue League or the Humane Society. These organizations make sure animals are healthy before they head out the door. They also track which vaccines each animal needs, and often take care of spaying and neutering.

If you still want to adopt an animal online, whether on Craigslist or any other site, know the risks. Dr. Harvey also suggests being proactive to protect your pup or kitty and visit a vet immediately.