I have to admit, I got both my bullies from craigslist. Of course, I don't just pick up any dog from craigslist, and no, they weren't sales. We made several visits and spent time with the owners and the dogs. And both parents asked us tons of questions, wanted to meet our children and even our dog.
Bullie was adopted from a woman who contracted multiple sclerosis. She had Bullie for 3 years, the last 2 years with the disease. It got to the point that she would fall down when Bullie brushed against her legs so she considered the adoption. She had a thick folder full of every single vet visit records since Bullie was born complete with HER FIRST TOOTH! Bullie came with a wardrobe which was all Georgia Bulldogs motiff, and because my husband is a Gator, we ditched them all and replaced them, including her harness! I felt really bad when we took Bullie home because she was crying like crazy. And yes, we found her through craigslist - she had the ad there for 3 months before she finally gave Bullie up. She said she had tons and tons of people come but nobody else made her feel good about the adoption. She started with no rehoming fee and finally put a rehoming fee of $500 just to take the crazies from coming to her house. She was planning to just give us Bullie for free but we didn't feel good about that.
Now, Angus, we got from craigslist too. He was 9 months old and his dad lost his livelihood a few weeks after getting Angus. He owned his own construction business and he had zero projects since! He lasted 7 months before he gave in to have Angus adopted because he was starting to feed Angus anything he can find super cheap - he went without much food himself for a while just so he can feed his dog properly. Poor Angus, when we got him he was so skinny. He didn't have a crate, not even food bowls because he outgrew the ones he had and his dad couldn't afford to buy new ones... His dad still keeps in touch with us until today asking about Angus. He still doesn't have a steady job and he has sold most of his equipment to pay his rent.
Now, why both of them didn't contact a rescue - it never occurred to them! Yep!
So, there can truly be dogs in need of help in craigslist but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack of scummy ads. I look at craigslist mostly for furniture. I'm currently in search of IKEA Expedit shelves that's why I've been scouring craigslist daily.