Getting an adult dog from a rescue group or a shelter off Craigslist is an admirable thing. Many friends who do rescue advertise their dogs for adoption. Unfortunately, many backyard breeders do as well. Even though it's against Craigslist policy to sell dogs on their site, it is still being done. And these greeders, as we like to call them, have gotten smart. They advertise their 8 week old puppies with an 'adoption' or 'rehoming' fee. A lot of people are falling into this trap.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
If they are advertising a litter of purebred, eight week old puppies, they didn't get them from the shelter. Shelters post their dogs with links to their page. Rescues will post pictures and state where the dog was rescued from. If there is a litter for adoption, they will also be stating that the mom is for adoption as well. They will advertise that the dog comes: spayed/neutered, microchipped, shots. If you do not see these words, the puppies are NOT rescues.
Red flags - an entire litter of purebred puppies from 6-8 weeks of age with no mom listed. The greeder will still say "adoption" or "rehoming" fee. Usually this amount is high. Shelters and rescue groups will charge between $100-$250 dollars. Greeders will charge $200 or more. We've seen puppies as high as $800 on Craigslist. That is NOT an adoption fee.
These greeders only care about one thing - money. This means their puppies often haven't been dewormed or given their shots. You show up to find sick puppies living in horrible conditions. Once you are there and see these poor little babies, you aren't going to be leave without 'rescuing' at least one. And the greeders know this.
By taking that one puppy, you have now condemned another litter to the same fate. That $200 you just forked over to "save" the puppy, just gave her an incentive to breed her dogs again (and not deworm them or give them shots, as she did with this litter). You didn't rescue that puppy, you purchased it. Then, you'll have to fork over thousands to get it healthy again (plus the spay/neuter fee once it's well enough to be fixed).
This is an education issue. Most people are trusting individuals. When a dog is a lifetime commitment, you're looking at getting one every 10-15 years so it's easy to be duped by these horrible breeders. We're here to help so that it doesn't happen!