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Free to a Good Home

Guest Author - Sandy Moyer

Although everyone should be committed to caring for their dogs and be willing to make compromises for the sake of keeping them, even if unexpected changes make that inconvenient, sometimes there are valid reasons why someone must relinquish their dog. Those reasons might include .... Loss of a job or relocation to housing that will not allow dogs. Dogs must sometimes be put up for adoption because someone in their home suffers from severe allergies. Sometimes a dog needs a new home because an owner becomes physically unable to care for it, or the owner is terminally ill. When a dog owner passes away, family members must sometimes find a new home for the dog. There might be serious aggression or dominance issues with another pet.

In a effort to personally find loving homes for dogs they care about, people sometimes place "Free To Good Home" ads in newspapers. Many people who advertise this way really do have good intentions and they care about what happens to the dog. If, for any reason you cannot keep your dog, please DO NOT try to find a new home for your pet by offering it - "Free to a Good Home". Please don't give your dog away to strangers!

Dishonest individuals who sell dogs for profit routinely find free dogs through newspaper ads. To deceive and help convince someone that they want a family pet, they might even bring children along when they go to pick up a free dog. These con artists are quite devious and good at what they do. They know what they must say and do to appear as though they really want your dog as their pet.

What can happen to a dog after it goes to someone who answers a "Free to a Good Home" ad?

  • Some dogs are sold to research labs.

  • Certain breeds are sold to dog fight promoters and used in dog fights. These people also buy helpless dogs to use as live bait for fighting dogs. The bait will literally be torn apart.

  • Some are sacrificed in cult rituals.

  • Dogs that have not been spayed or neutered might be used as breeding stock in a "Puppy Mill" and live in deplorable conditions. Females will exist only to have one litter after another.

  • Even if someone really wants a dog for a pet, but must resort to finding a free one, how can they afford the expense of pet care? If a person cannot afford to pay the adoption fee for a pet from an animal shelter... a fee which includes up-to-date shots and spaying or neutering... how will they be able to afford the normal expenses of proper pet care? How will they afford vet bills if the dog gets sick?" Someone who is looking for a free dog is unlikely to make a serious effort to provide good veterinary care, a safe environment, and proper training. Free dogs are often abandoned or anonymously left at animal shelters to also avoid having to pay the surrender fee.

  • Other irresponsible would-be breeders also look also for free dog ads. They just don't want to pay for the dog or anything else, such as veterinary care, that would cut into their profit from puppy sales. While their dogs might have better living conditions than a full scale mill, these hobbyists don't really care about the animals. In between litters, the dogs are neglected and often live outside - tied to a dog box. Since these people have nothing invested in the dog, they have nothing to lose either.

If you must find a loving new home for your dog....

  • Always have a dog spayed or neutered before offering it for adoption by any means. If a dog who is capable of reproducing, is being given away or sold at a bargain price, chances are high that it will end up being used for breeding in either a puppy mill or someone's backyard. For low-cost spaying and neutering, check local humane organizations and animal shelters.

  • Taking a dog to a local Humane Society or animal shelter is an option, but remember that many shelters don't have the resources to handle a large number of dogs. They find homes for as many as they possibly can, but kennel space is limited. Depending on the policies of the shelter, and the dog's breed, age, health, or temperament, it could be euthanized instead of being put up for adoption. Your local shelter might have a list of rescue groups in your area.

  • Contact a legitimate rescue organization. Some groups specialize in just one breed, and others take any breed or mixed breeds. Some will only accept healthy dogs up to a certain age and others will even take senior dogs and dogs with special needs. They'll need to know lots of information about the dog, so they can try to match the right owners with the right dog.

  • Ask your veterinarian if he or she knows someone who might be looking for a dog like yours. If your own vet doesn't know of anyone, call other veterinarians.

  • If you bought your dog from a reputable breeder, tell the breeder that you can't keep the dog. Many breeders will take back a dog they sold. Some breeders have a waiting list of people looking for an adult dog.

  • Ask friends and neighbors who you know are responsible, loving pet owners if they would like to adopt your dog.

  • Place an ad in a newspaper, but charge an adoption fee. Charging a reasonable amount can discourage unethical people from answering an ad. If you are not comfortable with the idea of "selling" your pet, donate the amount you charge to an animal shelter or other charity. Willingness to pay a fair price for a healthy dog at least says something about how much the person really wants a dog.

When someone answers your ad .....

    Ask for identification - their name, address, and phone number. Ask for references. Get personal references, references from neighbors, plus a reference from their veterinarian if they have other pets or if they tell you they want a dog because their dog passed away.

    Check out the references. Find out if their other pets or former pets had adequate veterinary care, including regular check-ups and vaccinations. Have a new owner sign an adoption agreement like those required by pet rescue organizations. There's an example of one listed below.

Have an in-home interview. Explain that you care about the dog's future and want to know that it will be happy and well-cared for. You want to see how the dog responds to a prospective new home and family. See how their other pets and children react. Ask about their job and who will be caring the dog. Find out where the dog will sleep.

If they give any excuses why you cannot visit them in their home, do not let them have the dog.



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Content copyright © 2014 by Sandy Moyer. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sandy Moyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Bettina Thomas-Smith for details.

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