A mix of boredom and curiosity drove Tony Phillips, author of a local blog, Fifth Avenue Gazette, to send in the following classifieds ad to the Union-Tribune :
"CHUPACABRAS 3 neutered males, 2 spayed female pups, lovable, good with children. Free to good home."
A chupacabra, for the uninformed, is a blood-sucking creature of dubious existence known to target animals.
Phillips received confirmation that the ad would be published, and his account was debited $45. He told his readers to look for the ad in the March 17 issue of the paper, just after the listing for Chiuauas. "I sincerely doubt that anyone... will catch the fact that the chupacabra is not a breed of toy dog," he wrote.
Alas, the ad didn't appear. He contacted the U-T and received this response:
"At this time we do not have a classification that is suitable to advertise "mythical creatures that suck blood from goats'-even if they are neutered and spayed. We have no plans to include such a classification in the future. I'm sorry you were displeased. Thank you for the "test'-we all had a good laugh. Your $45 payment will be credited back to your account."
Craigslist, on the other hand, ran the ad, along with the photo shown here. Phillips said that, so far, he's received "five serious inquiries and only four notes of disgust," one of which accused him of conspiring with the devil in order to create such a fiendish pet.
Chupacabra image courtesy of Skeptiseum/www.csicop.org