Animatch Blog

There has to be a better option

Free to good home.  Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it?  There are serious reasons why you should reconsider.  Did you know that about 40% of dogs that are given up to shelters/rescues were once “free”?  Believe it or not, the ones who find themselves in rescue might be the luckier ones!  While people might sound decent on the phone or look good on paper, you have no way of knowing their true motivation.  There are people who just scour ads for “free” pets – what is free has no value, right?  It can be disposed of without feeling a loss.  Here are just a few end results for the unfortunate dogs (or cats) who are deemed of no value.

  • Several cosmetic and chemical products use animals for testing.  There are “dealers” who get dogs from random sources and sell the animals to these companies.  The companies may not exist in your own community but dogs can be shipped to locations where they do testing. 
  • Dogs (and cats) who are advertised as “free to good home” and are not sterilized often find themselves with “breeders”.  Just because a dog is not purebred does not mean that he/she will not be used for breeding.  If there is a buck to be made, unethical breeders will breed these dogs.  NEVER give an unsterilized dog.  These dogs will be bred repeatedly until they can’t anymore.  If a rescue is not contacted to “clean up” after them, then they will be disposed of.  Animatch has seen this first hand. 
  • Let’s not forget the collectors – sometimes hoarders – who amass freebies.  The collectors resell for profit on line or at flea markets and the seller has no interest where the dog is going.  The hoarders just stockpile dogs until someone intervenes.  Either way, the care given to the dogs is minimal and often means potential disaster. 

Upon bringing a dog/puppy into your family, you took on the responsibility to provide that dog with love and to see to his or her needs for life.  If you feel you have no alternative but to give up your dog, there are choices.  Do this last favor for your pooch.   Contact every rescue in your area or beyond – it is a lot of work but your dog deserves that, doesn’t he?   Start with those on Petfinder, check into breed specific rescues; where there is a will, there is a way.  This dog deserves your best efforts.  If there is absolutely no option to keep your pet and you truly must re-home her, then for your dog’s safety please do so responsibly.

If you opt for doing it on your own, then here are a few guidelines.  Do this last favor for your pup. 

  • Charge a re-homing fee.  The dog is worth something to you and anyone who really cares will understand.
  • If your dog is not sterilized (spayed/neutered), DO IT.  
  • Use an adoption application and adoption contract. You can find them online.
  • Get a copy of their driver’s license or Medicare card to verify their identity.
  • Ask for two or three references (not family).   If they have a dog, the Vet is a good one.
  • Do a home visit.  Make sure that they actually live at the address that they have given and make sure it is safe.

If they balk at any of this …. Not a good sign. 

Note:  Aggressive dogs should NEVER be passed around assuming that the next person will solve the problem.

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