The Tragedy of "Free To Good Home"
© Copyright 1997-2000, PetRescue.Com
Most people have good intentions when they advertise a cat
or dog as "Free To Good Home". They care what happens to the animal and
are not interested in making money. All they want to do is find a nice
family that is willing to give the pet a loving, responsible home.
The tragedy occurs when the animal is mistakenly put into
a situation where it is neglected, abandoned, abused, or even sold for lab
experimentation. Sadly, this sort of thing happens thousands of times each
day across America.
Giving any pet away is misguided. People tend not to value
what they don't pay for. If you charge a nominal fee of $35-$45 or more
for an animal, the new owner is more likely to take their commitment to
the pet seriously.
A free pet is a disposable pet!
Paying a fee for a pet shows good faith on the part
of the new owner and demonstrates their willingness to properly care for
the animal. The truth is, there is no such thing as a "free" pet anyway.
By the time a cat or dog is checked out by a vet, including shots,
worming, health testing, and spay/neuter, a "free" pet will easily cost in
excess of $100, and that's just for starters. A responsible person who
would properly take care of an animal will understand this and will not be
opposed to paying a reasonable fee for a healthy pet, especially if some
or all of these health items have already been taken care of.
Still not convinced? Then ask yourself these questions,
"If a person cannot afford to pay an adoption fee for a pet, how will they
be able to afford the normal expenses of proper pet care? And how will
they ever afford vet bills when the pet gets sick?"
If you are uncomfortable with asking a fee for the pet,
consider including food, toys, supplies, etc. as an added incentive. The
idea is not to make a profit, but to ensure the good intentions of the new
owner. In any event, the animal should be "fixed" and have its "shots"
before it is adopted out and these costs alone can easily equal $45 or
more. Use the adoption fee to recoup your expenses.
One final thought on this subject - if you absolutely
don't want to take any money yourself, ask the adopter to make the check
out to a local animal shelter or SPCA instead. These organizations can
surely use the help!
What can happen to a pet that is
given free to a casual, uncommitted owner?
Used to "live train" fighting dogs. The animal
you expected to be a pet is used to bait a fighting dog and is literally
torn to pieces.
Sold at Flea Markets or Auctions to anybody who
happens along. Most of the time these animals are neglected, kept in
cramped, unsanitary conditions and often become sick and diseased.
Sold to a Class-B Dealer who then resells the animal
to a research facility. People who practice the despicable act of
rounding up strays to sell them are referred to as "Bunchers". At the
research facility, the animal may suffer abuse and most likely will be
euthanized after they are finished with it.
Used for breeding stock in a "Puppy
Mill". The living conditions in most of these establishments are
deplorable. Bitches have continuous litters, one after the another.
Used as live food or bait for exotics like snakes
Sacrificed in cult rituals. Some people find this
hard to believe, but the FBI has many files
documenting this kind of activity in our country.
Be sure to "fix" the pet before adoption to prevent
more "Free To Good Home" ads!
Find out if the local humane or
others will spay or neuter the animal for a reasonable cost. Use the
adoption fee to recoup your money.
The most important thing you can do to stop animal
abuse is to spay or neuter your pets!
Use a Pet Adoption Agreement! Please don't let
the animal out of your door without a signed
adoption agreement! This
will usually stop dishonest people in their tracks.
Adoption Form is available as an Adobe Acrobat® pdf file
Copyright (c) 1997-2000,
How To Find and Evaluate A Prospective Pet
© Copyright 1997-2000,
Finding Prospective Homes
For a Pet
Vet Offices. You will find
more good pet owners here than anywhere else! Talk to the
staff. They often know of clients whose pets have died and are
looking for a new one. Leave a color photo and description of
the animal and your phone number on their bulletin board or at
Bulletin Boards. Post a color
photo of the pet, a description, and your phone number on
bulletin boards at pet stores, supermarkets, churches,
schools, and other community bulletin boards.
Newspaper Classifieds. Use
this traditional method of advertising, but results are
generally not as good as using Vets offices and bulletin
Local Publications. Also use
whatever weekly advertising magazines are available in your
area, such as the Penny Saver, Treasure Chest, Bargain Weekly,
etc. They are generally more inexpensive than newspapers and
allow you to elaborate in your ad.
Pet Rescue Organizations. Let
local organizations know what you have available for adoption.
They may help locate potential owners for a brokered adoption
What to ensure when
adopting out a pet
Spayed or neutered before adoption.
A completed screening form.
A visit to the home of the prospective new
A loving adoptive family, committed to the pet
A signed Pet Adoption Agreement
Cats kept inside exclusively.
Proper shelter for dogs when kept outside.
Pet proof fence and gates.
Pet is returned to you if new owner decides to
give it up at any future date.