I Buy Strays Site is Satire

 |  Jan 18th 2008  |   1 Contribution


Have you heard about the "I Buy Strays" site that advertises for people to sell their dogs to them to be resold to research facilities? Turns out that the site is satire.

I heard from a lot of Dogsters outraged about the site. So I asked Dogster HQ to find out what they could about who registered this site. Our fabulous HQ ran down the registered information. So where and who registered it? It was registered to an agency that acts as the owner of record so there is no real address, phone number and especially name of the real owner.

Fortunately, the well known author Jim Willis had been in contact with the editor of the entry on About.com and was able to set all of our minds at ease with the news that the site is a "satire."

Here is the beginning of the entry on About.com.

Comments: IBuyStrays.com was online for barely a week when it achieved instant notoriety thanks to anonymous ads posted on Craigslist.com and the word-of-mouth criticism that followed.

People who viewed the site took offense at the apparent callousness of its message, expressing puzzlement, anger, and outrage. From day one, the question uppermost on everyone's mind has been, is it real? The answer is no.


Though it purports to represent a legitimate enterprise, the website lists no physical address, phone number, or other real-world contact information. I could find no evidence that a company doing business as "IBuyStrays.com LLC" even existed prior to the date of the domain registration (December 21, 2007). I've found no compelling evidence of its existence since that date, either.

While not entirely preposterous, the basic premise of the site stretches credulity. It is true that under U.S. law, licensed "Class B" animal dealers may legally purchase animals -- including pets -- from private individuals as well as pounds and shelters and resell them to research facilities. But they stay in business by cruising under the public radar, not by overtly soliciting family pets for purposes of laboratory testing. In fact, this website appears to be drawing precisely the sort of attention most animal dealers seek fervently to avoid.

Hoax or political satire?

So it seems there is a serious point to all of this. When I contacted the operator of the site, who replied to my messages using only the initials "IBS," he (or she) took umbrage at my referring to the enterprise as a hoax. "The word you're looking for is 'satire' (and militant satire at that)," IBS wrote. "The goal of a hoax is primarily either humor or to defraud someone. Though amusing to some, I would not call my site 'funny' and I'm not trying to steal anyone's money. So, by definition, it's not a hoax."

All well and good, provided the site actually meets the definition of satire, namely: "A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit." So, what human vice or folly is being attacked? The unscrupulous practices of certain parties who actually do buy and sell animals for research.

Follow this link to read the rest of the About.com article.

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