UPDATE – 6/6/08 – See Update posted below!! No more ‘Pets for Sale’!!

The internet and classified ads are a mecca for puppy millers selling puppies and in an effort to fight against puppy mills, many people and are organizations are trying to get those offering classified ad space not to accept and run ads for live animals. Not only will this limit some venues for puppy millers, it will also limit venues for scammers who advertise dogs and puppies to the unwary who are ‘taken’ for thousands of dollars and only wound up with heartbreak and empty bank accounts. The efforts are making headway in some areas.

Here’s an email I received from Mary O’Conner-Shaver of Ban Ohio Auctions;

I just received an important update from Jenny Stephens of NPPMWATCH regarding the recent controversy surrounding ‘puppies for sale’ ads on Walmart.comLast evening, it was impossible to pull up classifieds that were advertising dogs for sale on the Walmart classified pages. This morning, upon checking the list of prohibited items, it appears two new restrictions were added to this page:

Animals prohibited for sale under applicable laws. Animal parts, blood, or fluids, including without limitation, stud/breeding services. HERE

These restrictions were not there yesterday and ‘Pets’ no longer appear to be included in the category listings. From the homepage of Walmart.com however, Jenny was able to click on CLASSIFIED in the left hand column, enter ‘puppy’ and a zip code to produce this page: HERE. But this is a dramatic reduction in pet ads compared to yesterday and the majority appear to be not-for-profit ads.

The website is moving rather slowly and we don’t know if this is a reflection of new programming or what exactly, is going on. At this time, it would appear that Walmart is attempting to remove all pet for sale ads and keeping only those ads that relate to pet sitting and other pet services.

Oodle, on the other hand, is also experiencing sluggish loading and still includes ‘Pets’ as a category on their pages (Jenny was able to find pages of puppies for sale).

It is recommended that everyone keep rechecking the Walmart portal of Oodle because in reality, it is not against the law to sell companion animals via online classifieds. We all would like to think that Walmart has risen above aiding puppy millers and that the thought of a boycott of all Walmart services by animal advocates was the impetus in their decision to exclude this category from their online classified ad sales.

Update – 6/6/08Just got an update on the Walmart ‘Pets for Sale’ Classifieds Issue and it’s GREAT NEWS!! Thanks Mary!

Some GREAT news just received from Kelli Ohrtman of Best Friends Animal Society::

“I just got off the phone with Wal-Mart corporate. The woman I spoke with said that all the pets for sale ads have been removed from walmart.oodle.com, and that they will not be allowing them again, “ever.”

She said that Wal-Mart corporate has a draft of a statement prepared that will be issued publicly today, or if not today, then shortly. She said to check http://www.walmartstores.com/ for that statement.”

For future concerns, the representative also recommended that we contact the Corporate Office directly:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716-8611

To e-mail, go to http://www.walmartstores.com/ and click “Contact us.”

A HUGE thanks to all of you who served as a voice for the animals! Your efforts made a difference!
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