DENVER, COLORADO — Sick kittens have been and are being sold on Craigslist for hundreds of dollars. Now, local buyers are warning people looking for pets listed online to beware.
There’s no question Jayme Raichart is an avid animal lover, but her big black dog isn’t the only one who’s supposed to be greeting the family at the door.
“We`re all heartbroken,” she stated.
Pictured in drawings on the wall is their weeks old kitten – who are now under the care of a veterinarian emergency room.
“This is thousands and thousands of dollars. Which is such a bizarre situation when you`re like, okay, save an animal or done. We`re just like, okay we have to do everything,” Raichart stated.
Raichart paid several hundreds of dollars for the kitten she found on craigslist. The listing said the cat was a Ragdoll Maine Coon mix and the litter of ten was up-to-date on vaccinations. Both claims, she’s found, were not true.
“It was a really big, drastic, downward spiral. She got sick very quickly,” she said about the kitten.
Jayme was told the kitten has a condition called feline distemper which is a virus with a high mortality rate. “Unfortunately, it’s such a hardy virus that it lives in your home, on surfaces for up to a year,” she stated.
They tried to contact the seller but to no avail.
So they put an alert on Craigslist and found that many others with the same story. Sick kittens, all of which were bought from the same seller named Sarah near I-25 and Hampden.
Raichart states that at least seven of the kittens have died.
“This kitten mill or whatever you call it, is pretty elaborate in location, what they are calling the ad, what they are calling the breed, it’s all across the board. So it’s feeling really, really dangerous,” she stated.
For Raichart, it’s not about the money per se, it’s about the danger to the animals and everyone else involved.
“Even if she didn’t know that the kittens had a virus that she didn’t know she was giving this to everyone. She`s lying about if they were vaccinated. Mostly I just want this shutdown,” she stated.
Fox31 Problem Solvers stopped by the listed address for the seller. The woman who answered the door told us they were out of town for a few days this month and believes someone else was selling kittens out of their home. She denied being any part of it.
Raichart says if you’re going to buy pets online at all, make sure to ask for vet paperwork and proof of vaccinations to spare the heartache her family has been through.
But even better yet, go to your local shelter and adopt!