Phony Craigslist 'animal research' ad targets W. Columbia compan - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Phony Craigslist 'animal research' ad targets W. Columbia company

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Is it case of mistaken identity or malicious intent? A Midlands company finds itself at the center of a disturbing ad on Craigslist. The problem is it's not an ad they posted or even knew about until we called.

This was an ad some of our viewers found disturbing and brought to our attention. Basically, it said a group claiming to be a scientific research organization is looking to adopt a large quantity of puppies and kittens for experimental purposes here in Columbia.

When we went looking for the ad, it had already been flagged and removed from Craigslist.

What outraged many people were claims urging you not to let your pet be euthanized or die in vain, but rather donate them to science. The ad doesn't mention a company name, just a phone number that comes back to Steam Systems in West Columbia.

We contacted the company, and the owners says they knew nothing about the ad. They clean carpets and do damage restoration for many apartment complexes in Columbia. They were outraged that someone would use their phone number this way and want you to know, they're not doing what the ad suggests and they understand the upset calls they're getting.

"Their hearts are in the right place, and I agree with them 100 percent, but yeah, as customary, people jump to conclusions, just assume that everything they see on the Internet is true and so we definitely, that's why when we had a chance to talk to you, we wanted to come talk to you, clear the air and let people know that's absolutely not true, absolutely false," said Jamey Trusdale, one of the company's co-owners.

The company has alerted local law enforcement and filed a complaint with Craigslist.

Steam Systems had another circumstance just a month ago when another erroneous ad was placed on Craigslist using the company's name. They say someone is disgruntled with the business and is targeting them.

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