Soldier returns home to find his dog was sold on Craigslist

"He was a lap dog; he'd crawl up on the couch and try to fit on your lap." 


Kevin Collier


Published Jul 26, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 10:33 am CDT

An U.S. Army soldier got a rude awakening when he returned home to Washington from nine months in Afghanistan.

His beloved dog Oakley was gone, reportedly sold on Craigslist.

“[He] never growled or anything at anybody, always ran up with his whole body shaking and put his head down to sniff you,” the soldier, Brandon Harker, told local news station Q13 Fox. “He was a lap dog; he’d crawl up on the couch and try to fit on your lap.” Several sources told the station they’d seen the dog for sale on the site back in February.

Harker had left the dog in the care of a friend, he said, though that friend apparently didn’t take that role too seriously. Q13 Fox said that people claimed they saw the dog for sale on Craigslist in February.

Harker created a Craigslist post of his own Wednesday in a desperate bid to get Oakley back:

I just recently returned from a 9 month deployment. And upon arrival back into the area I found out my yellow labrador retriever was either given away or sold while I was gone. … If anyone has any information on this and can help me please do. I am just trying to get him back to me since he was wrongfully given away or sold with out my permission while I was deployed.

A corresponding Facebook post has been shared by more than 30,000 people in the 17 hours since it went up.

Pet sales are technically prohibited on Craigslist. However, the practice is rampant in real life. Harker’s own Snohomish County, for instance, has a Chihuahua mix for $220 and a black lab puppy for $250, both of which went up Friday.

Photo via Brandon Harker/Craigslist, remix by Fernando Alfonso III

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 26, 2013, 4:15 pm CDT