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The Scary Truth About “Free to a Good Home” Dog Classifieds


Every responsible dog owner or pet parent knows that getting a dog is a life-long commitment. From the moment you open your heart and home to a loyal dog, you’re in it for the long haul, through sickness and health, ups and downs, good and bad, through snuggles on the couch to picking up the pieces of yet another pair of shredded shoes.

Responsible dog owners make decisions with their dog in mind. We don’t move to a new home without making sure the furkids are welcomed in the new community, we don’t spend frivolously without making sure the dog is cared for first, and, when times get tough, we’ll skip a meal so that the dog still gets his.

Unfortunately, not all dog owners are responsible. Close to 4 million dogs enter rescue shelters each year in the United States alone, with about 60% of these facing euthanasia. Shelters and animal rescues are busting at the seams as a direct result of irresponsible pet ownership.

Still, even responsible dog owners can sometimes find themselves searching for a good home for their beloved pet. Unexpected circumstances, illness, injury, death, economic collapse. Things happen.

Because our rescues and shelters are packed full, responsible pet owners have an increasingly tough time finding a good home for their pets and are turning to direct-to-consumer classified ads, like Craigslist or the local newspaper, thinking that they’re doing the right thing for their dog. Sometimes, a good samaritan finds a stray dog and, rather than call animal control and risk the dog being euthanized, will put up a classified ad to find a new home.

We visited Craigslist’s pet classified section and contacted several dog owners offering “free to a good home” dogs on the site with questions about their dogs, their reason for re-homing them, and their decision to use a classified ad for their precious dogs. Most advertisers ignored us, but a few responded. Here’s what we found:

A military family was deploying overseas and couldn’t take their pitbull-mix; a single mother was having another child and could no longer afford to care for her Catahoula-mix; another was re-homing his deceased father’s beloved Beagle. Though most of us would find ways to keep our dogs in each of these cases, none of them are particularly terrible reasons to re-home an animal.

All 3 were genuinely concerned for the well-being of their dogs and felt they were doing the right thing. All 3 listed their pets as “free to a good home” because they didn’t want to profit from a “sale” of their pet, but ultimately only wanted to find a loving home for the pets they cared for. All 3 respondents above claimed to have contacted shelters and/or rescue groups before using Craigslist but were denied any help due to overcrowding and felt they had no other options.

All 3 pulled or modified their ads when we explained what really happens to “free to a good home” pets.

So, what really happens to “free to a good home” dogs?

- Last year, Jeffrey Nally Jr. was charged with 29 counts of animal cruelty because of the massive number of dead animal found on his West Virginia property. Nally had obtained at least 29 animals through “free to a good home” Craigslist ads, just like the ones we responded to.

- Patricia Hervey of Texas, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of animals at her Bexar County home. Hervey prowled Craigslist for “free” animals, claimed to run an animal shelter near San Antonio, took money from dog owners to use to re-home them, then shot and killed them, dumping their bodies in a lake behind her home.

- Dogfighting circles use free Craigslist dogs as “bait dogs” for training their own dogs to fight without risking injury, or they take in free dogs and train those to be fighters as well.

- Other groups, called “Bunchers” scour classifieds for free dogs, then sell them to laboratories for animal research and experimentation.

- And, sometimes, a free ad for re-homing a purebred, unaltered dog will result in the former family dog being picked up by a puppy mill breeder to spend the rest of her life as a caged, malnourished, unloved breeding machine.

The people looking specifically for “free to a good home” dogs will go to great lengths to appear legitimately interested in providing a perfect, loving home for the dog. They present themselves as well-to-do, responsible dog lovers. They often bring children along to meet the dog and owner to avoid suspicion. They will make up elaborate stories about previous pets, a perfect home and yard, and promise to provide a loving forever home to the helpless animal.

Continue to page 2…

233 Responses to The Scary Truth About “Free to a Good Home” Dog Classifieds
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  3. margie
    July 2, 2014 | 9:25 pm

    I actually have a 3 yr old purebred frenchie I am trying to rehome. I would prefer to donate to a sick child who could use him as therapy. If anybody knows of somebody near the NYC area i would really appreciate it.

  4. Anonymous
    June 24, 2014 | 1:05 pm

    […] […]

  5. Christina Berry
    June 19, 2014 | 1:37 pm

    I’m utterly amazed at how narrow minded some of you are.

    This article does not say that every person who gets a “free to good home” pet is bad. Clearly, there are many pets who were given away for free and now have great lives.

    But there are an awful lot who didn’t have such great luck.

    It’s a known fact that dog fighters look for free animals to use as bait. It’s a known fact that laboratories look for free animals to use for research. I had a neighbor who looked for free kittens to feed his snake. But NONE of these people are going to admit their evil doings when they’re trying to convince you to give them your pet.

    This article simply says be smart. Realize that people are often not what they want you to think they are. Be responsible and don’t take the easy way out – check references, make some phone calls, try to do right by this innocent animal whose fate is in your hands. Hopefully the person who answers your “free to good home” ad is a good person who simply wants a nice dog – but be smart enough to realize that isn’t always the case.

  6. Lynn
    June 18, 2014 | 5:19 pm

    Is anyone monitoring these comments? I see a comment on March 19, 2014, from “sandra” in which she’s advertising puppies for sale. I assume The Dogington Post prohibits “pets for sale” ads.

    • Brandy Arnold
      June 20, 2014 | 11:19 am
      Brandy Arnold

      Thanks for the heads up! We’re removing the post. :)

  7. Devan
    June 13, 2014 | 10:58 am

    You make it seem like every one who looks for dogs in classifieds wants to harm them i’ve gotten a few dogs from classified ads and both my dogs are happy and healthy

    • Luka
      June 14, 2014 | 10:15 am

      There ARE good pet owners that take free animals off of classifieds like this, but unfortunately the risk is still there. The whole point of this, is to warn people what could potentially happen to their pet by putting them up as a free giveaway like this. I agree, 100% with this article as it bothers me when I see free puppies and kittens being given away.

      ‘Free’ also attracts impulsive people, cute puppies and kittens also attract somewhat irresponsible teenagers who take it home, only to find out their parents (if they’re still at home) don’t want it, forcing them to give it up within a month. Or, once the baby is past the ‘cute’ stage and they haven’t bothered trying to train it, they give it up because it’s a ‘handful’.

      I’ve seen it happen, I live in a small town and this problem is extremely prevalent. Due to this, I will NEVER take a free pup or kitten from anyone. Rescues only, for me, considering how many of those poor giveaway critters end up in them.

    • Christina Berry
      June 19, 2014 | 1:25 pm

      Devan, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Of course not everyone looking for a dog in the classifieds wants to harm them, but a responsible person needs to do the legwork to be sure! There are proper ways to re-home a pet, but a lot of people are uninformed. Many people have no idea the horrors that could await a pet given away to a stranger.

    • albeez34
      June 28, 2014 | 12:01 pm

      I don’t agree, I simply think he is just warning people of the bad possibility out there. me myself im looking for a free dog for the family, for myself my wife and the kids because I really cant afford the adoption fees. even thou I cant afford the fee I agree with it because it keeps the creeps away, a $300. meal for a snake or training practice is too much.

  8. Dave Hatley
    June 12, 2014 | 11:40 pm

    Even Craigslist warns about the dangers of offering free pets in their pet classifieds!

  9. G Leguizamon
    June 12, 2014 | 10:34 pm

    I don’t have money ,but I am animal lover I won’t never put any type of pet on Craig list I will look for a rescue place or friend of a friend

    • Angela White
      July 16, 2014 | 5:48 pm

      Except that the Rescues charge so much money that only the well off can EVER get a rescued dog! They say that they want to make back all that they have spent on the dog! Yeah, right. I thought the point was to find GOOD homes for dogs! For the prices they charge you could go and get a Pedigree dog from a seller. These dogs have troubles and problems that got them to the shelter in the first place. We are a great dog family. Our beloved American Bulldog (deaf) died a year ago last January and we now feel ready to have a dog in our family again. We look forward to it, miss having a dog so much. We looked at a local shelter and found two cute little dogs. When we went up front to inquire we found out that one was already spoken for. We wondered why they didn’t take the other one too and when we ask how much the other dog was, we found out why: they were asking $170 for one! We have plenty of money to take care of dogs and a CareCredit account for any emergencies, but I don’t feel like we should have to pay all that money that could be used on the dog for shots, getting fixed, food, leash, bed, toys, traveling cots, etc. Both little dogs would have cost $340! They could have stayed together if the Rescuer’s weren’t involved! They do plenty good but Rescuers have actually kept MANY dogs from good, loving homes by trying to make back all the money they think they spent, even if most of it was donated! It’s unfair to families who are responsible but not rich! It’s WRONG and it’s certainly doesn’t do any good for the dog with NO HOMES! The WHOLE point of RESCUE was to make sure the dogs found homes and were not KILLED. Now it’s a BUSINESS where a select few dogs are “allowed” to go to the highest bidder!

  10. Ernesto Shaw
    June 2, 2014 | 12:22 am

    Great information.I also would like to commend you for you for simply stating the facts and not stoop to name calling

  11. Danielle
    May 20, 2014 | 9:35 pm

    this is such a biased topic both of my two dogs are adopted for free off craigslist and both are amazing and spoiled and loved another dog we had we had to get rid of due to him being not well trained yet as far as his aggression (chow/German Shepard mix) and we had a baby on the way we listed him as free to a good home and we still see him and his new owners at the dog park and text and trade pics regularly. Craigslist can be amazing its not all bad do research before you give your dog away go visit these people and see where they are going if it wasnt for “free to a good home” ads i wouldnt have a dog and i mean come on what would life be without a dog or 2 :)

    • jason
      May 24, 2014 | 10:22 am

      I’m with you on this one. Every pet i Have ever owned growing up was always free,well taken care of and died at an old age. Just like everything else in this country, if a few sickos do something bad we now have to treat everybody like they are sickos. Now I have a 3 year old son that wants a puppy and I want him to grow up with a puppy like i did. I’m not going to pay 300 or 400 or even 100 dollars for a “rehoming fee”, what a joke, for a mutt. I guess my son will grow up without what was some of the best parts of my childhood. Thank you to people like this lady yet again screwing up everything for everyone else. Because of people like you my son also cannot be a child in public because plastic guns or superheros are not good behavior for a child. Sorry a little off topic, I’m just tired of people and their uppity ways and the way the screw up things for everyone else.

      • Jen
        May 26, 2014 | 2:35 pm

        ‘For a mutt’ – wow, quite the animal lover you are. Every animal is worthy of love, equally, and every one is equally worthy in terms of adoption fee.

        The article isn’t saying all people who get pets from here are bad – it’s saying be careful because some people are bad. Reword your ad, ask for a small fee to cover vaccinations, etc, make sure your pet is sterilised – there are ways to go about doing things so people who ARE up to no good won’t get their hands on your pet. Sad, but true – just like someone telling their kids to be careful of strangers. A good person will not be offended & say: you’re saying all strangers are bad, ergo you’re saying I’m bad. A good person who genuinely cares will understand the issues & be open to answering questions.

        • Jen
          May 26, 2014 | 2:36 pm

          PS: saying ‘Thank you to people like this lady yet again screwing up everything for everyone else’ is like blaming the newsreader for crime.

      • KBlack
        June 13, 2014 | 12:12 pm

        Wow.. How…ignorant. First, the article never said it applies to all animals. Second, a “rehoming fee” is to help weed out the sickos, the amounts you mention are not all inclusive. Third, if you want a “mutt” and think they are of less value than a purebreed, you are quite ignorant and shallow. Fourth, go to the shelter and save a life for crap’s sake. Although honestly, from your comment, I honestly don’t think a pet should be in your care. You clearly don’t have the heart.

      • JD Roberts
        June 14, 2014 | 12:46 am

        You don’t have to pay that much money! Go to your local Animal Shelter and ADOPT! There are so many wonderful pets waiting there for a ‘forever home’ that may never come. Save and change a life!

    • KBlack
      June 13, 2014 | 12:19 pm

      So glad that an organization about and for dogs has you to set them straight about research. Obviously you are far wiser and more knowledgeable.

      This article is about the dangers if giving away your pets via classified ads. Nowhere does it say it covers all cases. Your example is great, that is a happy ending, but sadly there is an increase in the negative outcomes rather than ones like yours. How would you feel if instead of those happy follow ups you found out that your dog wasn’t rehomed, it was actually with someone that drilled into it’s head with a power drill just for fun, or decapitated for kicks, ripped apart by other dogs for entertainment, used for target practice, or as a prop in a crush video? All of these things HAVE happened to pets given away for free on CL.

      I think you are the one who needs to so research.

  12. Mrs. Lee
    May 20, 2014 | 10:44 am

    Got a shepland sheep dog it was my dads who passed away i just cant take care of it anymore being i have kids and grandkids not sure what to do !! any thoughts im just giving him away im sorry to say :(

    • KBlack
      June 13, 2014 | 12:21 pm

      Yeah I have a thought. Charge a rehoming fee and do a home visit. It always baffles me that someone can give away their deceased parent’s pet, I see it all the time. I would NEVER do that.

    • Christina Berry
      June 19, 2014 | 1:29 pm

      Here’s a post I wrote about the proper way to re-home a pet. For the dog’s sake, please do the legwork and make sure that he goes to a good home.

  13. Willard
    May 17, 2014 | 12:59 pm

    Wow! it’s very excellent -free-online-classifieds . I enjoyed this brilliant topic is being so fantastic. Anyway I would like to say thanks for that inspiration and modern technology.

  14. Lindsay
    April 22, 2014 | 11:52 pm

    I got my dog from Craigslist an they whereworried since I did own a pit bull but I love my cookie she is spoiled the first week I got here had to spend 400 bucks getting her leg fixed she had a accident at a dog park an then another 100 to weeks later now I’m bout to have to get her rabies an fixed I love my dog am I send them pictures of her still everyday almost but honestly if they are fighting dogs they will even by the dogs so putting a price on them don’t matter take care of you dog or don’t ever own a dog its just like a kid

  15. heather
    April 21, 2014 | 12:14 am

    This is not always true. I got my puppy this way and he is a loved part of my family. Ya it probly does happen but there are those that do get them as part of there and my husband love both of our dogs very much.

    • Jen
      May 26, 2014 | 2:24 pm

      The point of the article is to warn advertisers that many people on these sites are specifically looking for animals for nefarious purposes. The person advertising the animal would be lucky if you replied – but they could be unlucky & have someone bad reply.

      It’s about warning people to beware who replies & check that they are who they say they are; it’s not saying that people who reply to the ads are all bad.

      I speak as someone who works in animal welfare. Sadly, this is the world we live in.

      • John
        July 6, 2014 | 4:09 pm

        Your a monster to assume such things, like you said you only work in animal welfare so you only see animals who need or needed help.

  16. […] By Brandy Arnold […]

    • grace blessing
      April 26, 2014 | 2:38 pm

      yes that may be true to a degree but i have seen others treat dogs they have paid hundreds of dollars for the same way yes a small re-homing fee is reasonable but its when shelters start to charge 250 dollars and up that I find unreasonable and sadly keeps a lot of good families from adopting many of these animals and one of the reasons they are so overcrowded and cannot find good homes for the can get many pure breeds for what they charge and dont have to worry about the problems associated with abused dogs So if you have a family who is willing to take the time to work with this dog and give it a loving need to make it affordable so by the time they purchase this dog all the things the dog needs food toys bed kennel plus having them checked by their own vet is going to cost between 400 to 500 dollars total so if they can afford all that they might as well get a pure breed.

      • Penny Reames
        May 4, 2014 | 5:26 pm

        If you can’t affort the adoption fee, then you can’t afford to give the dog quality food and medical care, and you should not own a dog. That adoption fee does not begin to cover the cost of getting the dog neutered, up to date on shots, and necessary dental work. The expense to the shelter of all of that care is already supplemented with our tax dollars, but not all of it. As a tax payer, I support the shelters to save the animals, not to let someone get a cheap pet. You need to be able to show you can afford to give each animal quality care, and the shelter needs the money to be able to take in the next dog.
        If you miss having the love of a dog or cat, go volunteer at your local shelter, start a dog walking or pet sitting business.
        Stop whining. Lots of us want things we can’t afford. If you really are a responsible pet owner and not someone asking for a handout, you will figure out a way

        • Jack
          May 4, 2014 | 7:04 pm

          Thr money should ho toward taking care of the dog
          And asking to come visit and be checked up on like children that going too far
          How do I know if these animal rescue ppl arent casing my home?

          • Jen
            May 26, 2014 | 2:30 pm

            Don’t know about fees in the USA (I’m South African), but I can say that most welfares LOSE money on homing animals; the fee doesn’t even cover costs. I agree it should be reasonable, but these places are struggling – all of them – the least you can do is give them some money for the hard work they do.
            If you go to a reputable welfare, I hardly think they’re ‘casing’ your place. I work in welfare & if someone had that attitude, I’d immediately be suspicious. Someone who loves animals will not be offended if asked sticky questions. You know why? Because they have nothing to hide.

            You have no idea what kinds of terrible people are out there. When you’ve spent time scraping the victims of these people off the floor, I guarantee you will become as cautious as they are.

            Btw: not all animals from shelters are abused & need rehab – many are lovely dogs from good homes, they just aren’t wanted anymore. A reputable shelter who has spent time with the animal will be able to give you some idea of its nature & needs. Be honest, say what you’re looking for, & keep lines of communication open.

          • Lisa
            July 3, 2014 | 3:52 pm

            Seems like you have something to hide, Jack. My husband and I adopted our two dogs from a rescue, and we couldn’t be happier. The adoption fee is normally $150 per dog, but because we were agreeing to take a bonded pair, they waived one of the fees. So, I got two dogs, fixed, with all vaccinations for $75 each. That’s a steal. The Rescue was a delight to work with, and I am thinking about getting a third fur baby from there.

        • Dis Appointed
          May 26, 2014 | 3:08 pm

          Penny Sorry but…Very disappointed in your comments on here to people….Your approach and responses to people throughout this blog are part of the problem. Not just yours, but many others also. Yours just seem to stand out the most in a very negative way.

          • Suzy Nelson
            June 12, 2014 | 11:01 pm

            I think Penny’s great. She tells it like it is.

          • KBlack
            June 13, 2014 | 12:28 pm

            Her comments are the best and most reasonable ones here. Fact is, people think shelters or rescues should cover all fees with no recovery by charging adoption fees. So I have five foster cats that have lived with me for a year. They have all been fixed and they have all their shots and are microchipped. They have been to the vet when needed, a couple of them had expensive visits and one has a heart condition. They eat high quality food. They get flea treatment. How much do you think that coats, huh? Oh and let me add, I am not a rescue – I have done it all from my own pocket, and I work part time. So should they be free? Hell no, neither should others. Rescues are bursting at the seams. People want to abandon their pets with them but don’t donate. Just where do you think they get money to continue caring for the pets others throw away?

      • Christina Berry
        June 19, 2014 | 1:33 pm

        Most shelters are not-for-profit organizations. How do you think they get money to pay for food, shelter, vet bills, and the salaries of the people who work there? In part, it’s through adoption fees. If you can’t afford a $250 adoption fee, then you can’t afford to properly care for the dog. The adoption fee typically includes shots and spay/neuter, and it would cost you AT LEAST that much if you took it to your own vet.

  17. […] Read The Article here […]

  18. French Bulldog Times
    April 18, 2014 | 3:04 pm

    […] Because our rescues and shelters are packed full, responsible pet owners …read more […]

  19. EVE
    April 9, 2014 | 5:43 pm

    I found a good home and owner for my cute adorable Maltese. He was a yr and a half old. The family asked the right questions and was willing to let me visit him. At first I was concerned but thought I need to believe people have good hearts. So after a few more questions I let them keep him. I do not regret it now. He is infact in a good home, God has bless him and he is being spoiled and loved. I thank the family that took him. I guess what I am saying is yes, these things may happen but that’s why we must use our common sense with your instinct to help a loving pet.

  20. Ron
    March 19, 2014 | 2:59 pm

    I’m looking for a new fur friend. The rescue places I’ve been to want $250 – $400 after they’ve done a credit check. I have to take my family (wife, cats & chihuahua) to the foster home to see if we’re a good match and then wait for approval. I will find a new dog. I will love, cherish and take care of it forever. But I refuse to play the jump through hoops game.

    • Amber Garrison
      April 6, 2014 | 9:34 pm

      Hey I have two free cuddly lovers.. They are beagle and basset hound cross

      • jonesy
        April 18, 2014 | 5:20 pm

        Are you f###Ing kidding?

    • Karen Genosa
      April 18, 2014 | 4:54 pm

      They just want to make sure you WILL take care of your new furbaby and that he/she will have a good home and that YOU really want to share your home with another!!

    • jonesy
      April 18, 2014 | 5:19 pm

      Don’t you see that ‘jumping through hoops ‘ is a deterrent for people who would get a dog on a whim? That’s the whole point. Its to judge your level of commitment to the animal before you’ve even clapped eyes on it. Looks like you didn’t pass the test…..

    • Penny Reames
      May 4, 2014 | 5:36 pm

      If the dog is not worth jumping thru hoops for, then you are not worthy of a rescue dog. These dogs have been thru enough already. We want to make sure they are going to responsible people who care enough

    • KBlack
      June 13, 2014 | 12:30 pm

      So you don’t care enough to prove you are going to be a proper home?

      Here is an idea. Adopt from a kill shelter.

  21. Crystal
    February 14, 2014 | 2:05 am

    I have been thinking on this thought I’m about to mention for a good while and have waited for the chance to throw it out there, here it goes… First a small bit about me… I think I would qualify in the higher end when it comes to commitment to animals and caring for them all. I like many made spontaneous choices to buy puppies when I was in my young twenties and young newly married. Now in my fourties and being fully loaded with though more mature emotional issues than the emotional issues that inspired my not so responsible decision to buy puppies, not knowing the commitment and care they require, emotional issues in our human condition is my thinking as to why all and every sad animal story we know of happened in the first place. Let me say this again, animals, pets end up in bad situations because people are hurting. Animals depend on people after domesticated and people are injured and hurt. I just keep having this thought for months that we have to help people to cure the over pet population problem, the puppy mill problem, the pet store problem, the kill shelter problem, the dog fighting problem.. The you name the animal problem,must really a people problem that won’t stop until we care for our human friends, neighbor, brothers & sisters first, other wise it’s just a hamster wheel times infinity……

    • adrian
      April 18, 2014 | 4:21 pm

      totally agree with you friend

  22. Diane Lucki Donkersloot
    January 22, 2014 | 10:58 am

    You don’t want to know what I would do to these cruel, inhumane pieces of shit. I will admit that they would be hurt so badly that life as they know it now would be a mere memory. They would have to crawl, they would have to feed themselves through a feeding tube. I would have now mercy. Besides it is hard to do that with no hands. I may sound evil myself, but, I am so sick of hearing this kind of stuff. These people have no business being on this earth. Once again, if they can do this to animals, they can do this to kids, and people.

    • stacey
      April 18, 2014 | 4:14 pm

      I see nothing wrong with what you said,truth be known thats pretty much the way I would have worded it, sometimes it scares me that my mind can think of the kinds of torture I would do to a piece of crap like the people that hurt animals.

  23. Kim
    January 19, 2014 | 2:43 pm

    I have 3 children and i am a single mom. I wanted a dog that would grow with my kids to protect them and me. I couldnt affored the price the shelter wanted for one. So I went on craiglist and Igot a mixed puppy that was free to a good home. He is up to date on all his shots and he is fixed. He is very happy and healthy. My kids and I love him he is a part of the family. I spnt no money on him. I brought my children with me to help pick him out an I rent an apartment on a horse farm so theres plenty of room for him to run. I dont beat him he is spoiled. So in not all cases ths is true. With stuff like this going around people now make money of their mixed breed dogs so now no dog is safe.

    • Suzan Black
      June 20, 2014 | 2:42 pm

      What will you do if the dog gets sick/inujured? You say you have no money. How will you pay for necessities like yearly shots and emergency work? Or do you live in a bubble and think that won’t happen? A responsible pet owner makes sure he/she can AFFORD to give their pet the medical assistance and necessities (good quality food, etc) needed. I have been in rescue over 25 years and it scares me as well as angers me when people cease to realize how expensive a dog can be (proper care). I agree with some of the above posts – if you cannot afford to pay a homing fee, you shouldn’t have a dog. Sorry.

  24. Aunt Jane
    January 19, 2014 | 12:08 am

    This article is one reason I worry about my pit. I have no family and if something happened to me…. And finding a home for a pit is twice as hard and for other breeds because of all the sorry $^&*@# out there. And my rescue pit is the sweetest dog anyone would ever want. If fact I’m rather paranoid about protecting her from being stolen, there is a lot of dog fighting in this area but not as bad as it used to be. I just tell her that she needs to help keep her mama healthy so that she and my three cats have a home!!! She wags like she understands!

  25. Debbie Daniel
    January 18, 2014 | 3:49 am

    A FREE dog is NOT free…especially if they havent been altered or UTD on shots and not heartworm +. Also they cost to feed and care for..medically, grooming etc. If you CANT afford to pay an adoption fee, you do not need that pet. It is SO worth every penny to rescue a dog that has had to be medically cared for and socialized to be able to be adoptable. If the pet is coming from a loving home…you still get a great deal paying a small fee because the pet is already cared for. (in most cases). pay it and shut up. For the folks giving the pet away, well..know what your doing by giving this pet away. You are causing stress on this pet by changing its home to unfamiliar people. Make D*MN sure you HAVE TO give this pet up. If you make a habit of doing this more than once…you DO NOT EVER DESERVE OR NEED A PET! Let others adopt. Dont screw up another animals life by leaving them. People that give away animals like they are a piece of paper…do not deserve a pet. I can tell you one thing..I had 3 jobs, newly single, raising my 3 yr old daughter and i had a dog. I needed a place to live and most apts didnt allow pets. My mom tried to get me to get rid of my dog. i told her no I wasnt giving up my dog..i would find a place. AND I DID. A small one bdrm apt tucked away in a town. they were not fancy trust me..but i fixed it up cute and it was a very comfortable place to live. a yr later i was able to move to a nicer apt that allowed pets. this is what you call a true pet lover and owner. There isnt many reasons that are good to give up a pet..really there isnt.. BUT if you feel you what i have suggested below..check the people out taking your pet.

    With that said…about Craigslist. When someone offers a dog for free to good home…DOES THAT PERSON giving the dog/pet away do a home check? Drive to that persons house, check for fencing/backyard,descent neighborhood, make sure dog will be living indoors and not out back chained up with little or no shelter? Do you call the Vet of the people interested in your pet? These are all the things you SHOULD do before giving your dog to someone else. Also have them sign a contract agreeing to the terms you would like to see. A warm bed, good food and lots of love. And FREE dogs alot of the time are used in dog fighting. these are horrific conditions and many dogs die or are ripped apart. i have seen many with their faces ripped off, or guts hanging out. Also people take them JUST to torture them. shove a shovel into their skull, burn them, drag them behind vehicles, poor acid on them, beat them with baseball bats. SEEN IT ALL and WORSE. THIS IS THE VERY REASON not to give your dog away. even if you give it away free..DO HOME and VET CHECKS. check them out thoroughly.
    So all of you that are making really off the wall ignorant negative comments about this article..THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!

  26. barbara
    January 17, 2014 | 8:40 pm

    we got a free to good home dog 3 years ago. she was advertised through our local group of “meet ups”. we joined the puggle meet up group so that our first dog could socialize with others. The previous owner of our second dog had the foresight to advertise through our group to know that we already had experience with the mixed breed and were real pet owners.
    We love our ftgh dog just as much as the one we had first. she will forever have a forever home with us.

    not all of us are bad people.

    • Penny Reames
      May 4, 2014 | 5:47 pm

      And your point is? Of course not “all” people are bad, and of course no all “free-to-a-good-home” dogs end up being tortured and abused. But many of them do. Why make it so easy for the abusers? Would you let people offer children on Craig’s List or on the internet as “free-to-a-good-home”? Why not?

      • Deb
        May 20, 2014 | 8:44 pm

        That’s rude. The point is that regardless of home checks, being able to afford an adoption or rehoming fee doesn’t guarantee them a good home. Circumstances change and some people whether they have money or not should not have a pet or children. I would like to know the statistics on how many abusers verses good families adopt free to good home pets. Once you provide that you’ll have my support.

        • Jen
          May 26, 2014 | 2:42 pm

          Point is: why take the chance? Do everything you can reduce the possibilities of your pet being harmed. Of course it doesn’t guarantee a good home, but it sure increases the chances. There certainly aren’t statistics! Welfares don’t have money for that. Those of us who work in animal welfare & have seen these things with our own eyes don’t need stats. One animal is too many.

  27. Amanda
    January 17, 2014 | 1:06 pm

    I have a free to a good home dog. He is the best thing that every happened to me. I love him to death and spoil the crap outta him. I have also had 4 “free to a good home” hamsters, 3 “free to a good home” fish, and a “free to a good home” Chameleon. We still have the fish and Cameleon and they are spoiled too!

  28. George Williams
    January 17, 2014 | 12:35 pm

    If you can’t afford the adoptions fees then you can’t afford the pet. End of that story. Next story is if you don’t charge an adoption fee (if you are bothered by ‘profiting’ off the animal then donate the fee to an animal charity) your pet will be someone else’s toy. Having a pet and rehoming a pet requires some work and some effort. Come to grips with the fact that you may not be as great a pet owner as you wanted to be and don’t get another pet once you’ve gotten rid of one, or better yet dont’ get one if you don’t have several hundred ready for vet bills/food/housing needs/licenses/neuter/spay. If you don’t spay/neuter your animal your are irresponsible and contributing to the tsunami of animal deaths all across this country. No pet animal needs to be born just to die because you couldn’t afford to sterilize the parent. Ugh – so much justifying of wrong behaviours. Just do the right thing.

    • heather
      April 21, 2014 | 12:26 am

      I beg to differ I couldn’t afford the $150+ that shelters want but I afford food( I don’t mean cheap crap either I mean blue buffalo grade) shots and everything else so that’s just a load of BS as far as I’m concerned. My female our 1st dog has allergies and other special needs so ya she gets everything she needs along with lots of love as does our free to good home puppy we got so don’t give me that crap of if you can’t afford fees you can’t afford a dog.

      • Penny Reames
        May 4, 2014 | 5:56 pm

        Sorry, Heather, but you are just ignorant of the whole picture. Who should pay for getting your dog ready to adopt? Tax payers? That adoption fee is not just about your dog, it is about the next dog who needs rescue, and may need extensive medical care. If you believe in rescue, shut up and support them.
        If you have a dog with allergies, then you should not be feeding that dog food. And you should not be giving your dog antibiotics and steroids. That is not treating the problem. That just treats the symptoms, makes the vet a lot of money, and eventually does great physical damage to your dog.

        • annoyed with penny
          June 14, 2014 | 10:39 am

          Penny….you’re a bitch.

  29. Eloise Bright
    January 16, 2014 | 5:14 pm

    Great article and a good reminder to be very careful about where your dog comes from and is going. There is a great campaign to try and stop the sale of animals through Craigslist, though I’m not sure this is necessarily the answer. It is nice to think that if you are in the unfortunate situation that you can’t keep your pet, you can find a good home yourself rather than having to surrender your pet to a shelter.

    I recently read an article on Slimdoggy about the large numbers of pets advertised on Craigslist that were from puppy farms The adverts often look very genuine and it is difficult to the untrained eye to determine if the dog you are buying is from an ethical breeder or a puppy mill with hundreds of breeding dogs kept in tiny, dirty cages with very little human contact. Obviously these puppies are more prone to health and behavioural problems and often people still pay hundreds of dollars for them, as the sellers often have elaborate ploys to make people believe the dogs come from better conditions.

    You are certainly right, when buying or selling it is reasonable to inspect the premises your dog is going to, or coming from. No reasonable person would object to this and if they do, alarm bells should ring.

    Again, great article, certainly in an ideal world we would not have to think about this sort of issue, but the reality is that in a medium that can reach large numbers of society, a few bad eggs can crop up.

  30. Victoria
    January 16, 2014 | 1:38 pm

    I have 2 boston terrier/chihuahua mix puppies I got for free from an online yard sale. I also have a Siamese cat I adopted at the shelter for $80. My cat was not fixed and had not been vaccinated. I didn’t care. I took her to the vet & got her everything she needed. I will do the same for my 2 free puppies. The vet appointment has been set up, $350 for each dogs shots/ flea meds/ all their parasite and heart worm tests / spay and neuter. It a wonderful must do pet lover requirement. Do you want your dog to get sick and it’s future offspring murdered? No! So Not everyone who has free dogs are to cheap to care for them. My free babies might not be worth anything to anyone else but I love them as if they are my own flesh and blood. Please people stop getting animals if you can’t afford to take care of them. Getting a dog you can’t take care of ends up as more free dog ads and that just leads to more trouble. Here in Tn if you adopt a pet you have papers and the shelters have pictures & everything to prove it is your pet so you cant go dump it off somewhere. I fully support adopting it helps animals in more than just one way. Do be cheap or free owners. The free pets deserve better owners than that.

  31. ruth
    January 16, 2014 | 11:38 am

    I tried give my dane a new home due to unforseable circumstances,I went to their homes and brought him to see his reaction.It all seemed I gave him away to this woman who seemed great and loving,with the agreement that I could see him .1 month later I did go visit and found him in the barn with the horses.I tried to get him back but I couldnt get her I was crying that whole time along with the circumstances that caused me to go that route I felt guilty In that time I got a call from my vet asking if I lost him.Im guessing he escaped once he saw me and a good samaritan picked him up and called the vet on his tags.I was so relieved and ran to scoop him up.I was so much more careful and found someone that I knew.he was so happy and loved and treasured by this family and I was able to see him.he lived for 14 years which is quite old for a dane.BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL IF YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOUR BABY A NEW HOME!

  32. EC
    January 16, 2014 | 1:41 am

    I don’t get why some shelters and rescues charge between $250 to $450 for some dogs. From what I’ve read that is not a ‘fee’ that’s a sale or brokering. For that same amount, a person can get a dog of a breeder with a good track record. Also many fake animal rescues and shelters charge fees no different than a breeder or pet store.

    On one website it said plain as day in the adoption section some breeds are more popular than others so they charge different fees… uh…last time I checked, shelters and rescues DO NOT do that.

    Look up pet flipping on Google. This is an underground industry founded on theft, deception and heartache. Sadly, there’s substandard rescue groups just like there are bad kennels.

    I would like to share my unpleasant experience with a shelter, almost 2 years ago they adopted out my beagle, without my permission when the agreement was for her to be boarded. Despite them closing in a few weeks, I still haven’t been given the whereabouts of my dog. I’ve been put through so much depression and heartache because my dog is not with me.

    My life has been absolutely miserable without her.

    Just like commercial dog kennels are inspected and regulated, same needs to be done for rescue groups and shelters. This would allow the good ones to stay open and shut down the ones that are illegal.

    There’s many cases where people tried to find a place for their dog to live and the person who claimed to be interested took that dog under false pretenses and sold it to a third party for profit. Rescues and shelters who adopt out dogs without the original owner knowing or giving permission to re-home that same dog isn’t legal either.

    You’d be surprised at just how many people this has happened to.

    It’s just not right!

    • jonesy
      April 18, 2014 | 5:24 pm

      how do you think the shelters raise money for food, veterinary care and utility bills?

    • Penny Reames
      May 4, 2014 | 6:01 pm

      You placed your dog in a shelter, to be boarded? Gee what could go wrong there?

  33. S Buck
    January 15, 2014 | 11:37 pm

    The one thing that is sad about this entire article is they leave out one other horrendous thing that can happen to dogs that are listed free. There are people in this world that practice beastiality. Yes, there are States where it is perfectly legal. They get the animals they abuse from ‘free to good home’ ads. This is horrific abuse of an animal, the majority of which die from internal injuries. Those that do not die, suffer again and again. This seems to be a huge taboo subject that people would rather believe doesn’t exist. If you’re on facebook, please go to For the Love of Gabe, read his story and on his page read the stories of many other dogs who have suffered the same fate. I can’t believe that they don’t know about this problem or forgot to mention it, or worse yet, decided it’s too touchy a subject to mention.

  34. Reva
    January 15, 2014 | 3:14 pm

    I don’t think anyone is saying to not ever GIVE away a free dog. Just do a little research and check out the person you are giving it to. Most rescues and even shelters to a background check and even visit your home to make sure you have a fenced place for the dog. They also require that if you rent, you have a written statement from your landlord that you can have a pet. The majority of people who take a pet will take care of them but there are some that do abuse animals and will take advantage of the Free to Good Home ads. If you love your pet and really have to rehome and want to not charge, then do a little background checkup before you place the dog. A person that really wants to give your dog a home will not mind answering your questions. I have two dogs I actually bought, two I rescued from pound,one that I took in when my Dad died and a cat that I found injured when she was just a kitten. I took her immediately to the vet and they had to amputate her tail, and after that initial visit which included shots, I took her back to be spayed and each of these 6 pets get their shots and are fed and loved family members whether they were free to start with or whether I had to pay a fee to get them. Pets may come to your home for free but they are not free after you get them.

  35. Nicky P
    January 15, 2014 | 2:41 pm

    This is mainly aimed towards WHAT can happen if you do not take the proper precautions by properly rehoming your pet. Checking references, doing in home checks. Also, if anyone on here even heard about puppy Doe, google it because it is a HUGE eye opener to the reality of what pets can go through. In my studies as an adovocate, giving away your pets for free is very dangerous for your pet. It’s the perfect site for animal abusers, sadists, dog fighters, bunchers, but as of late the trend is sending women and children to pick up a pet, mainly dogs, to posture as good Samaritans and caring individuals who want a pet for their family…as stated its only a posturing lie. Just be mindful and smart. I personally feel pets are not tangible items, they are not property, so giving them away for FREE is heartless. Would you give away your children for free? Think about it. BUT, so,e are so naive and don’t care. That’s the sad reality of it.

  36. Stan Modjesky
    January 15, 2014 | 2:29 pm

    I can’t say how much I wish this article had been better written and researched.


    “A military family was deploying overseas and couldn’t take their pitbull-mix; a single mother was having another child and could no longer afford to care for her Catahoula-mix; another was re-homing his deceased father’s beloved Beagle. Though most of us would find ways to keep our dogs in each of these cases, none of them are particularly terrible reasons to re-home an animal.”

    I’m sorry, but this was a pointless cheap shot, particularly the mention of the military FAMILY DEPLOYING overseas. Did the writer not understand the impossibility of taking a pet out of the country?

    Then on page two, there was this:

    “Have the person sign an “adoption” contract concerning your pet stating that they will not go to research. Having this in writing gives you legal recourse.”

    I seriously doubt there is any “legal recourse” available. Whether or not we like it, animal pets are considered “personal property” in our legal system. So under the best of circumstances, an adoption contract might get you reimbursed for the “replacement cost” of the animal. Under the worst of circumstances–let’s say the adopter was running a dog fighting operation–the existence of that piece of paper could be traced back to you, leaving you legally culpable, possibly open to prosecution if the case fell into the hands of a really overzealous prosecutor.

    There is only one answer to the “free to a good home” situation, and it’s simple: DON’T DO IT !!!

  37. Jody Killam
    January 15, 2014 | 1:26 pm

    This is simply not true! My dog was a ” free to good home dog” , craigslist classifieds dog! My son knew I’d wanted one for a long time. I dont have a lot of money and that was a concern of mine and why i’d waited to get one. When one was finally found with my criteria (small dog ,at least 2 yrs old, potty trained,good with kids) my sons approached me and said they would help with vets costs ect until I could either get back to work at some point, or until I got my retirement. I adore my dog! He sleeps with me, sits with me all day long. When my back is so sore I cry, he is right there to give me loves! He is absolutely the best thing that could have happened to me! On my good days where I can take my walker out and go for a walk, he walks along happy as can be! He has done as much to brighten my life as my grandchildren have! If anything, its his first home that I’ve put into question!!!! I was given NO shot records, although they claimed to of had them, He cowers when I tried to pet him for the longest time, and even now, if I even slightly change the happy tone in my voice when speaking to him he will drop to the floor cowering to the point that he makes me cry. I’ve no idea WHAT happened to him before, but I can promise you that my little baby is king of the hill around this house and slowly his confidence is returning.

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  40. cenajone
    October 5, 2013 | 10:37 pm

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  41. Cheryl
    October 5, 2013 | 3:01 pm

    I picked up a “free” purebred lab at a moving sale. The family was relocating and couldn’t take her with them. I was wanting a second dog and when she came along, I knew it was meant to be. Four years later she is well taken care of, vetted and loved very much. She is laying next to me on the couch right now. Happy forever home.

  42. w tustin
    October 5, 2013 | 3:00 pm

    OMG,Any Animal Shelter are not in it to make money, they truely do it for the love of animal, ive just been reading our local paper about thailand where there are dogs being sold to eat and cost as little as 6 pound each and cost 30 pound to eat it at a restaurant, 1 storey brought me to tears as i read about a puppy that had been skinned alive and placed into a pot of boiling water where for a few seconds tryed to climb out,its now outlawed there but there are rogue people out there that go round and collect dogs purely to eat,and make money they believe if a dog is tortured its lets off adrenalin which is supposed to make it taste better, so why not help these poor animals, im going to, the pictures i seen will haunt me for ever.

  43. Janet Kuhn Francis
    October 4, 2013 | 6:34 pm

    I absolutely agree that there are unscrupulous individuals of every stripe, but I also DISagree with some of the things I’ve read in the comments.

    My late father’s late dog was a purebred white German Shepherd and he was FREE. He lived a good life with my father, and then with us when my father moved here and after my father died, and the dog was also senior, he was loved, cared for, taken to the vet etc (I even bought a dog license when I KNEW he was dying, just because) until the last moment he drew breath, which was with my husband lying beside him.

    He was our only dog, but we’ve adopted cats from the local animal control center. We paid the fee, which was then applied to the vet fee, true enough, but those vet fees turned out to be far higher then the amount we applied. Whatever. It was the right thing to do. But please don’t let people think that with their $50, or however much, they’re covering all the exam, vaccination and neutering expenses. It’s JUST NOT CHEAP.

    Then we have the cats who were surrendered at no shelter at all except our doorstep–because we’ve had a few of those. They got carted off to the vet, vaccinated, neutered, and on and on….I deeply, deeply resent being thrown into the same box with the many vicious and uncaring people in this world.

  44. sonianaaz3
    October 3, 2013 | 6:59 am

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  45. oksunny
    October 2, 2013 | 11:55 am

    I got my dog off the street, literally…saw her walking down the street and coaxed her with food into the backyard.

    Got her spayed/vaccinated within 2 weeks (she was about 5-6 months old)and started her on a diet of high quality food. 6.5 years later she is a healthy and happy member of our family.

  46. Kimberly Thomas
    October 2, 2013 | 2:30 am

    Great article and VERY true. Unfortunately many idiots on here wo just don’t get it.

  47. TRISH
    October 1, 2013 | 11:30 pm

    I think this is a great article to raise awareness of the potential dangers by giving your dog away for free. I don’t see that in anyway it implies that if you take a dog for free, you are not a good home – as many great owners have obtained their pets that way.
    That being said it is about putting in as many safety measures as possible. Ultimately the only sure thing for you pets safety is not to give it away to a stranger. That being said, I realize there can be a handful of unavoidable/extreme circumstances that may lead the owner to this being the best/only solution. We need to ensure that our pets are as safe as possible, and will a fee ensure a safe home…no…but at the same time, they will be less likely to fall prey to dog fighters, labs or abusers that will search for free dogs/pets. And of course this is only a small handful of people, but if you can prevent your pet going to one of these people why not. I would compare this to wearing a seatbelt in a car. I am not a negative person, and assume I will be in a car accident, but if I am the chances of survival are much greater. It is the same reason I do not walk through a secluded park at night…I don’t think everyone in the neighbourhood will attack me, but the chances are greater if I give others the opportunity to take advantage.
    And I have also noticed some discussion about finances, and people falling on hard times. There are many people that struggle with the instability of the job market these days, and will do anything and everything to keep there pets safe and cared for, and do a great job of it. But if finances are tight when looking to get a dog, one would really need to think can you afford the $1000-$2000 price annually to take care of a healthy dog – and then if the dog gets sick, even more. People may argue that love is enough….but many times it is not, and places the dog in discomfort and pain. I can’t tell you how many dogs I have brought into my house as fosters that had been in ‘loving’ homes, but where in extreme pain or had infections from teeth not being cared for or other ailments.
    An adoption fee from a rescue goes towards the care and the vetting while the dog was in rescue (and is usually less than the cost of spaying/neutering, shots, physicals and any other treatments the dog needed while in a rescue). As for a rehoming fee from an individual, I think this will cause people interested in bringing in an animal, to think long and hard before making a new edition into the family. How many times have you taken something for free without even thinking about it, but if you had to pay for it – then you would think if you really want it (eg. if i was offered a free t-shirt, I would probably take it…nothing to lose! but if I had to pay $50 for that exact same shirt, I would really take the time to consider whether or not I really wanted it).

  48. Deborah
    October 1, 2013 | 7:05 pm

    I work at a non-profit humane society. Our adoption fees are very low in comparison for what we invest in eachd pet. $100 for a fully vetted dog is far from unreasonable. We are not only a humane society but are also a holding facility for animal control. Being the only such facility in our county we are always at capacity. Sometimes we have to make hard choices because people are not responsible. 99% of the unwanted pets that come into our shelter are strays or owner surrenders brought in by animal control. Maybe 2% are owner claimed because people can easily replace their pet for free on Craigslist or similar sites. They do not care enough about their pets to pay a roaming fee or vaccinate their pet for rabies to avoid a fine from animal control. Therefore a lot of great pets are euthanize due to owner negligence. If they had to spend a week in a shelter they might think twice about where their next pet comes from.

    • holly
      December 15, 2013 | 5:17 pm

      You would think more people giving thir dog away for free on Craigslist would actually help improve your organization circumstances. Maybe more effort should be put into helping pet owners find a good home and change a reasonable fee. I understand paying $100 or so to a shelter because you purpose is to find a home for the animals and they are not your pets. I don’t understand why I should reimburse anyone for the care they provided their own pet.

  49. K. M. Johnston
    October 1, 2013 | 3:27 pm

    The point; For yourself, which would you rather have:

    Euthanasia or BEGGING for DEATH as you are TORTURED!

    Why would you want to risk that for your pet/companion!

  50. Mishigoss
    October 1, 2013 | 2:27 pm

    PU0Y DOE. ‘Nuff said.

  51. anyone
    October 1, 2013 | 2:14 pm

    ok, here’s an idea. If people need to charge for a dog, but don’t want to “sell” the dog, offer to contact the vet they’re using, and buy heartworm/flea prevention for the dog, with the money they got for the dog. Or better yet, keep in touch, ask for email updates. Then send a care package to the dog, or donate the “adoption fee” to an animal rescue organization, with PROOF of it’s good works, like Farm Sanctuary, or any other open door policy rescue.

    If the person really loves the dog, they will love to email photos to show off their new “baby”.

    People with bad intentions won’t take the time or want to do that.

  52. Pam
    October 1, 2013 | 8:45 am

    Makes me sad to read articles like this. Hurrah to the animal lovers and to hell with the abusers.

  53. Alan
    October 1, 2013 | 5:53 am

    What an alarmist, sensationalist piece of work; yes, I’m sure bad things like your examples, but I think this is just typical tripe. I’m sure the majority of free pet ads are legitammate. Does your writing have to be so exaggerated?

    • K. M. Johnston
      October 1, 2013 | 3:31 pm

      There is plenty of proof that this article is true & factual,

      Mr. Tripe!

    • Pershopper
      October 2, 2013 | 9:01 am

      Did you bother to read the article on Puppy Doe? The dog that was gotten from Craig’s list then tortured & left for dead? This article is telling people to be careful. Not tripe.

    • Jen
      May 26, 2014 | 2:48 pm

      It’s not about the ADVERTS being legitimate, it’s about the people who may REPLY TO the ads being legitimate. Alarmist & sensationalist? Clearly you haven’t got a clue what goes on in the real world.

  54. pissedoff
    September 30, 2013 | 6:35 pm

    This article really pissed me off! It was obviously written by someone that has never truly experienced “hard times”….my sister had to find new homes for her two dog because back when my dad got Parkinson disease and could no longer work, they lost everything, they went from a 5 bed room house in a nice neighborhood to a small apartment in a very, very rough side of town. Because of their foreclosure they didn’t have options where they could move and my sister was 17 and had to move in with my brother in their apartment. She was able to find a good home for one of the dogs but the other had to go to a shelter….oh and I was homeless at the time. Not everyone is a fortunate.

    • BonfromOklahoma
      April 19, 2014 | 12:11 am

      I know exactly what you are talking about. I am currently having to try to give all my rescued and adopted pets away, because I am in serious financial difficulty, and believe me, I have tried literally EVERY OTHER POSSIBLE WAY, to keep from having to give my babies away. I am terrified of what will happen to them, and don’t have any PROOF, that even if I find a “nice” person, will they really be that way, or, will they just turn around and abuse or re-sell my pets to who knows what?! I am living in guilt, and depression, after giving two rottweiler pups away, and I don’t know what happened to them, since!! But, because of the desperate financial position I am stuck in, I have no other options!! What else can we do, but try to advertise, and PRAY that they are decent people, who take our babies!?–I’m sick, and crying, just thinking about the article, and the horror I’m left with, in my mind, and not knowing what’s going to happen to my babies!!–I need HELP!–Who can take my beloved cats, and my sweet dogs, so they don’t end up like that!?

  55. Candy R
    September 30, 2013 | 4:46 pm

    As a member of the veterinary field one other scary trend we are seeing is snake owners getting small dogs/puppies/kittens etc free to use as snake food since free is cheaper then buying feeder rats and last longer ( bigger meal)

  56. Nancy
    September 30, 2013 | 4:39 pm

    Please look into the case of “Puppy Doe”, a recent case of animal abuse, torture actually, to a puppy given away on Craig’s list. The case is from Quincy, MA. but is getting international attention. Nothing could be so horrifying. Thank you.

    • Pershopper
      October 2, 2013 | 8:55 am

      The fee charged by the rescue is not resale. They spay or neuter the dog, do a dental, grooming, vet exam, and provide all necessesary vaccinations. The dog generally comes with a supply of food, leash & harness & a bed. Also, they keep the dog with a foster Mom to learn it’s issues, behaviors, and sometimes even house break it. Do you seriously think this only costs $400.00?????

      If the dog does not need as much care, the adoption fee goes to help other rescue dogs that need even more expensive procedures to save their lives. It is expensive to own a dog & take care if it properly. If one is unwilling to make this commitment, perhaps a fish is a better choice?

      I volunteer for a rescue, and believe me, they are not in it for the money .

  57. [...] The Scary Truth About “Free to a Good Home” Dog Classifieds | The Dogington Post Share this:ShareLinkedInTumblrEmailPrintPinterestTwitterGoogleFacebookLike this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in You and Your Pup. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  58. Katie
    September 8, 2013 | 2:07 am

    An eye for an eye!
    Adopt a pet today.

  59. Katie
    September 8, 2013 | 2:02 am


  60. Ichimura Mei
    August 7, 2013 | 11:29 pm

    The design for the site is a little bit off in Epiphany. Even So I like your blog. I might need to use a normal browser just to enjoy it.

  61. Ashley
    July 26, 2013 | 6:51 am

    4 years ago my boyfriend and I adopted a “free to a good home” chihuahua wiener dog. He was 9 months old at the time, completely untrained (despite what we were told), and a constant barker! We have been homeless twice, and lived somewhere where “dogs aren’t allowed” for almost two years. Now I don’t recommend having a dog where one is not permitted, but I personally feel that if a person loves their dog, and feel the dog is a part of their family, they will do whatever they have too. He is probably one of the worst behaved dogs I have ever been around, but with a LOT of love and determination, he is a very special part of our family and we will do whatever it takes to keep him in our family! Our kids call him their “chi-wii brother”.

  62. Beth
    July 20, 2013 | 2:42 pm

    We got our Springer girl in a roundabout way from Craigslist. I foster for ESRA, a national rescue organization. An ESRA member saw her post on CL, “Free to good home”. The woman advertising her could’ve cared less about the “good home” part. When the rescue member showed up at her house, the previous owner shoved the dog in the back of the rescue member’s car, and walked away without saying a word. No “what food she was eating”, no “vetting history”, nothing. We still don’t really know how old she is (somewhere between 1 and a half- 3?). She was covered in fleas and had a terrible UTI.
    The point is, some previous owners just do not care where their dog ends up. We temp fostered her for a couple days, fell in love, and ended up adopting. But how many dogs get that lucky? We spent nearly $300 getting her completely vetted and microchipped, and she was already spayed. Ruby has the awesome life she has just because a friend was perusing CL one day and raced down to pick her up before anyone else. But a young, purebred female for free on CL? I can’t even imagine what would have happened to her if our friend hadn’t been looking on CL that day.

    • holly
      December 15, 2013 | 5:04 pm

      You gave a free dog a good home, yet you think you are the exception. Why is that? With all the people paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for a dog, why would you believe free dogs have little to no chance. Years ago I paid $1700 for an Purebred champion bloodline Lhasa Apso pup. He was a great dog, but so are my current shipoo which I got for free and my chihuahua I paid $25. I wish I thought about looking on Craigslist for a dog back then.

  63. Mary Martin
    July 11, 2013 | 2:56 pm

    Wow…… cumulatively these posts are supposedly coming from animal lovers yet when one sits here and attempts to read through any of these posts for any length of time leaves one sad and sickened at the way most people talk to others or treat others on here – and they are against animal abuse…. –

    Too busy trying to make their point or prove their point right with no room for other’s opinions and by-passing all together what the article was about in the first place…

    Sad – very sad….

  64. Meg Stutts
    June 24, 2013 | 11:00 am

    Wow,what some comments! Our local shelter here in the town I live at in Mississippi does offer people a great deal as it would cost much more to the owners if we had to go to the vet and have the shots and worming and a spay or neuter done and I am sure there are animal shelters in other towns that do some of these things too,so adopting from a shelter is a great bargain economically speaking and it saves an animals life;our shelter here is a no kill shelter but that is not the case in a lot of towns,the one I moved here from 60miles away does euthanize after they have been there a set amount of time.I was a bit concerned and disturbed about the previous commenter that said she wound up with a raggedy dog with a stupid name and that she could have gotten a purebred dog for the money she’s spent on vet bills for the dog.A dog is just as good of a dog whether she’s purebred or a mixed breed and it just makes me wonder whether she will truly love this animal or not and feel sorry for him if they wind up with an owner who doesn’t really care about them.All in all though please consider shelter adoptions because that is a great way to get a great dog.Two of my three are rescues and the one I did buy from a breeder three years ago is the one who has had the worst health problems.There are too many unscrupulous dog breeders out there that don’t care about the animals and only want to make money.It makes me so sad for these poor little dogs.All dogs deserve to be loved and cared for.

  65. Elizabeth D
    June 23, 2013 | 11:48 pm

    I’m not sure what shelters some of you go to, they sound more like private rescues with the prices some of you are quoting. My shelter, that I volunteer at, dogs are $65 and cats are $40. What this price includes is spay and neutering, shots and worming, and rabies. Spaying alone at vets in my area costs $125. I think our prices at our shelter is quite a deal on our pets.
    Also vets in our area will not work with folks that cannot afford care for their pets. I have tried with all of them with my own pets.

  66. martha
    June 23, 2013 | 1:34 pm

    Simply go to and put “dogs used for research” in the search column. Or “animal research.”
    It’s heartwrenching.

  67. kate
    June 21, 2013 | 10:07 am

    I have no idea what shelters you guys are going too! We just got a rescue dog from the ACS and it cost $25 hes neutered and the best dog ever. We did post our puppy we were given on craigslist because he was too aggressive and in bred, he found a nice home with another military family.

    • holly
      December 15, 2013 | 4:53 pm

      Where do you live? I tried to adopt a Maltses from a Maltese rescue, they told me it would be between $350-$425.

  68. Jennifer Padilla
    June 19, 2013 | 12:32 am

    I have to say that I have 2 dogs that I have gotten from free to good home ads and I have to say that they are like my children. In fact, my real children often complain that I treat the dogs better because I am always buying them treats and toys. I use the money to go to their vet bills as both of the dogs were not fixed amd had not had their first shots or had not been dewormed. Not everyone looking for a 4 legged friend can afford to pay for vet care, food and pay a lot of money for them. Plus if they live in a rental then also turn around and pay a pet deposit of 150 to 300 dollars

  69. Trisha
    June 18, 2013 | 10:23 pm

    It is better to be safe than sorry. If one really wants a pet they will be prepared to pay the costs period. All trying to rehome their pets must charge, you deter bad people and possibly save your pet from awful cruelty. There are horrible people out there and it is a sacrifice that must be made to deter people with bad intentions. Again, having a pet costs money down the road no matter what. The people with good intentions must understand there are people with bad intentions and there is no attack on you but we have to be selfless and think about the lives of the animals. Charge no matter what. You are saving a pets life this way, whether yours or another.

  70. Amanda
    June 17, 2013 | 3:41 pm

    I would just like to state that not ALL free to a good home dogs are mistreated and killed or sent to people that are horrible pet owners. I gave my dog away free to a good home due to her having some aggression issues after having my baby. I gave my dog away to a good home. So not all animals that are given away free to a good home are beaten or left to die. I do extensive research on the g people I give away the animals I foster as well as my own dog that I unfortunately had to rehome. I never charge a rehoming fee but I make darn good sure they go to great families. And I most definetely DO NOT treat animals badly, and none of the animals I’ve fostered or kept as my own have never had any diseases or died due to neglect on my part. Just had to post my opinion, that not ALL free to a good home ads end up like this.

    • Robin Lindemann
      January 15, 2014 | 4:28 pm

      But you made sure of where your animal was going. You checked everything out. Thank you. You proved you care about your pet. Some people do not. Some people do not think that anything bad can happen to their pet.

  71. Marie
    May 30, 2013 | 11:36 pm

    Not all “free to a good home” dogs go to loving owners without a cost either. Three weeks ago I adopted a free dog from Craigslist, knowing I would love her and give her a good home. I was told all shots were up to date except heartworm. When I took her to the vet for her heartworm test and meds I found out that she needed her rabies shot and the initial visit cost me $153. It was then that I found out she needed two teeth pulled and I had her dew claws removed, which should have been done at a much earlier age. Today she had that surgery and it cost me another $221 dollars. So at nearly $375 dollars I could have gotten two dogs from the shelter or a purebred puppy of some sort instead of this raggedy mutt with a stupid name that she came with. But I agreed to adopt her, I will provide for her and I will love her unconditionally. I don’t think this article represents the majority of people willing to take in a free dog. These sick people will steal dogs, adopt shelter dogs and take free dogs. It doesn’t matter how they get them. It happens regardless of the avenue they use to acquire a pet.

    • liz
      July 10, 2013 | 7:08 am

      Well said…I read in the news where a man was arrested he was going to shelters and pit bull recues and paying there fees for the dogs and he was caught a few months later dog avenue is 100% safe…

  72. Brawny71
    May 30, 2013 | 12:24 pm

    I got my skinny white shepherd mix from a shelter that makes regular runs to Oklahoma to rescue neglected animals. Paid $150, and now reading the comments I realize what a bargain that was. Even picked up a cage and leash there for her for another $70. My cats were from a free newspaper ad, because of an allergy. Turned out I knew the owner anyway, a local electrician. So it was a best case scenario–exept the dog is a little obsessed with what the cats are up to.

  73. アディダス サンダル
    May 30, 2013 | 5:27 am

    いる人高速と空azureの組み合わせ、の大半切望されました。概念の背面Ipath の靴です実現するためにどのくらい意識ですすべてについて。今、ほとんどの選手むしろナイキ靴、顧客の幸福偉大な品質。。おそらくあなたならはるかに簡単対照的にあなたが感じる開始あなた自身ホーム。

  74. Rhonda Butler
    May 29, 2013 | 10:49 pm

    These may be some cases, but I have adopted more than one “free to a good home” pets they all lived wonderful second lives. Not all cases are horror stories. Just ask a lot of questions.

  75. Nadine
    May 29, 2013 | 3:17 pm

    I have contacted “Free to Good Home” Craig’s list advertisers in the past to warn them of the dangers of this practice and will continue to do so. If you really don’t want to charge any money, I would still list a fee, because you know the people who will respond to an ad like that are honest and then you can decide whether or not you still want to collect that fee. The $$$$ listed will weed out the bad from the good.

  76. eve engel
    May 29, 2013 | 2:58 pm

    The easy simple solution is to ask who their vet or intended vet is to be. Ask them for $50 which you will place on account at the named VET for future care.
    The Pet is still FREE, and the new owner has made “a financial comittment to it”.
    FREE has no value ever.

  77. Julio Marie
    May 29, 2013 | 2:49 pm

    Please don’t think a $300.00 adoption fee is steep. These shelters have to pay for building insurance,food, shots, neutering, dental work,medications, education,websites,advertising and staff,fencing,kennels, towels,hoses, utilities, washers,dryers and many, many more expenses. They do recieve some donations, but never enough to cover these things. Not everyone is a volunteer either.

  78. Bernadette Bailey
    May 29, 2013 | 1:42 pm

    Well I think all breeders should be extremely restricted until the problem with too many animals being killed and abused is dealt with and laws need to get extremely tough against abusers.

    • Robin Lindemann
      January 15, 2014 | 4:23 pm

      The only problem with that is that the show breeders are the ones who pay for it. The underground breeders, the back yard breeders, the ones who want to get their money back for that puppy that they bought from a petshop, will still be breeding. Until we have spay / neuter laws in place, until everyone that is selling a puppy and it is spay’d or neutered already, until it is affordable to do so, there will be people making money off puppies. I showed. I never over bred my dogs. My older dogs that were adopted and puppies not going into the show ring, were altered before leaving my hands. I kept up with people who had my dogs. I have many people who when their first dog died, came back to me for another one. The last dog I bred, died last year.
      CA tried to eliminate breeding completely. Didn’t work as the only ones who paid attention to that law, were the show breeders. Ever try to get a show breeder to sell you a puppy? We are tough when it comes to where our babies go. I went to court to get a dog back that someone bought from me as a show prospect. I found out that they owned a pet show and wanted to improve some of their dogs. They violated their contract with me and I went after them and won plus damages. AZ has a good law they just passed. No more animals being sold in pet shops. That is a good start. Now if the rest of the country can follow their lead, you would see less animals dying in shelters.

      • Robin Lindemann
        January 15, 2014 | 4:24 pm

        meant to say, they owned a pet shop, not show.

    • Nancy
      January 16, 2014 | 2:24 am

      AMEN to that!!!!!!!!

      • Nancy
        January 16, 2014 | 2:26 am

        …Bernadette, it was AMEN to your comment about stopping all breeders until we get a handle on overpopulation/laws!

  79. Trish
    May 29, 2013 | 1:34 pm

    You just have to be careful whether giving up a dog or getting one. Our current dog came from a reputable shelter. She’d been a stray street dog for some time. When we got her, she was 2 years old and weighted half what she should have. At the checkout visit, our vet had a fit and called the shelter to chew them out for putting Millie up for adoption. Millie was severly malnourished. She was alert but looked like a skeletin with skin stretched over it. One year later, our vet says she’s surprised that Millie lived. But she did live. For several months, my husband and I had to make her food ourselves and feed her small amounts six times a day because otherwise she’d just throw it up. We took her on short walks at first and then lengthened them as she gained strength. We got a treadmill that she loves to trot on. She now weighs twice what she did when we got her and she’s still slender.

    Millie’s behavioral problems showed up when she regained her strength. But she’s lucky to have us and we’re lucky to have her. We do our best to take care of her and working through her issues has taught us a lot. She’s now such a joy to have around and play with.

    I was willing to take on the challenge of rehabilitating a starving street dog because I’ve had dogs and informally trained them all my life and, after getting layed off, I had time to invest in her. The warnings in this article are good but also keep in mind your own skills, experience with dogs and time available to invest in them.

  80. Cassandra
    May 29, 2013 | 12:24 pm

    I recently got a puppy and there has been a guy in his early 20′s that keeps walking by my house, checking out my pup. Does he make me feel uncomfortable? Yes. Am I afraid this guy may try to break in while I’m gone for the sole purpose of taking my pup? Yes. Do I think he wants to use my pup as either a fighter or a bait dog? You betcha. There are evil people out there. It’s a shame.

    • Melissa
      May 29, 2013 | 1:16 pm

      I would call your local PD and put them on alert. Inform them that you are concerned that this person is continually walking by your house and checking the house, puppy and you out. That is creepy, and maybe they can increase the number of times they drive by your home. :-)

  81. P Baxter
    April 23, 2013 | 4:32 pm

    Wow… What is wrong with you people??? Most of you totally missed the point. All this person was doing was trying to highlight the fact that if you advertise an animal for free there is a “possibility” the animal could land in the wrong hands.

    I would like to thank you for the tips and questions to ask and will be posting on my facebook page to make everyone aware.

    Thanks for the insightful information. Sorry most missed the point you were trying to put forth.

  82. JoAnn
    April 22, 2013 | 6:26 pm

    I really don’t believe that all people are cruel and evil but it only takes a few nuts out there to make us fearful and untrusting. I have three German Shepherds, two came from the local animal shelter and the other I found in the street. I would never give up me pets to anyone I did not know personally. Please people find out other options before giving your pet to someone you do not know!!!

  83. Lori
    April 18, 2013 | 7:54 pm

    There was a man in Texas that fed adopted Craigslist pets to the 70+ snakes he had in his home. People are cruel and evil…plain and simple.

  84. john
    April 9, 2013 | 1:20 am

    I would be no where with out my 3 beautiful pit-bull’s I saved my 3 year old female when she was just a pup. I paid a pretty penny but it was worth it to get it away from them people. but she doesn’t even remember what happened to her as a pup I made sure of that :).

    But I spend 100.00 dollars every month on food that is just a food bill but I spend 13 dollars on shampoo and toys and dog beds which she don’t use as she sleeps on my bed LOL.

    But I moved 2′s due to having my female pit pup to keep her I told them I wasn’t going to give her up for nothing you will just have to kick me out there is no way in hell she was going. after all she is my life long buddy she has always been there for me threw thick and thin :) threw sadness and stress she knows when I am feeling down and when I am of need of a hug.

  85. CJ
    March 8, 2013 | 12:13 am

    I have rescued a dog and a horse off of Craigslist. Both literally free to first person to show up on the doorstep. Don’t forget the pros to this vast system available to us. People can abuse it and people can also use it to make a difference.

  86. Linda Matheny
    February 22, 2013 | 8:49 am

    I am a retired Police Officer that was always on the lookout for animals when responding to calls. It was a very cold day with sleet and rain. On the way to my call I observed two dogs sitting out in a yard. I thought the smallest dog was dead but was barely alive. It had a travel crate with holes all over so even if the dog was able to get inside it would still be wet. The other dog’s “Shelter” was a recycle bin turned on it’s side. I immediately called ACO out and the owner got both of these dogs from ads “Free to good home.” The dog that was by the recycle bin still had it’s 6′ walking leash tied to the fence. The owner told ACO he had dog food. I told the guy “You may have dog food but you actually have to feed it to the dog.” Both animals were seized. I wish I could have contacted the original owners to let them know what had happened to their precious pets.

  87. Forget-Me-Not
    February 16, 2013 | 6:10 am

    We had to re-home some of our furkids. I didnt ask for anything but I never say its free. I asked for certain amount of money to pay for spaying so the money actually goes for the welfare of the dog and it represent good intention on the behalf of the adopter. For those who already spayed, I asked for the same amount, and they can tell me whatever they think they will need for the dog (that they dont have as some of them had previous experience of having a dog and still have some items like dog food, vitamins, toys, beds, etc) and I will buy it for them. The adopter asked for a full check up on the dog. It’s the best solution for all parties and to make sure the dogs has no health problem or if they have any, it can be detected early :D

  88. Vince
    February 13, 2013 | 8:25 am

    If you do not want to profit off the sale of your dog, charge a rehoming fee and then donate it to a local shelter!

    • Tim
      February 14, 2013 | 12:48 pm

      Excellent idea Vince! You obviously put a bit more thought into your comment than a lot of other people. Thank you for your insightful input.

      • snowangel
        May 30, 2013 | 6:25 pm


        • Cheryl
          October 2, 2013 | 5:27 am

          You are very wrong snowangel. Our kill shelter keeps dogs for months trying to find them homes or a foster until they can find a home.

    • Lori
      April 18, 2013 | 7:56 pm

      Great idea!

  89. Bob C
    February 13, 2013 | 6:46 am

    Increase the fines greatly for abusive treatment!!!
    And put their name in the paper.
    Michael Vick should still be serving time for what he did!

    • Andrea
      March 8, 2013 | 12:09 am

      You know he now has a dog. He claims it’s to teach his children responsible pet ownership. SERIOUSLY?!

  90. Rachel Chappell
    February 11, 2013 | 10:12 pm

    The rescues I have volunteered with in the past would sometimes phone those ad-placers and urge them to charge just 25$. At the time, it was more than research labs paid, and might have dissuaded others to take them, too.

    Private rescues do housechecks and try to follow up after any adoption to be sure the dog/cat is safe and doing well. A private party should always try to meet the person in their home and do all they can to make sure the story they’re being told ads up. It may only take half an hour and make all the difference in the world.

    Besides, it protects both parties as it helps ensure the pet is a good fit for the person or family wanting to adopt him/her and hopefully reduces the risk that they will change their mind and dump them at a shelter later.

  91. meerkat
    February 10, 2013 | 12:11 am

    Pop-up ad is wider than my iPhone browser and cannot be scrolled or closed. Impossible to read article. Just happened to see link again when using a different browser, so I can read it now. Thought Dogington Post should know that I was both unable to read the article and extremely annoyed. Because many people should read this article, even people using smartphones!

  92. Patty
    February 9, 2013 | 11:09 am

    Wow! I am so sorry to hear about any dog abuse but Craigslist can provide abusers a channel of supply. I am going to that list now and maybe save a sweetheart of a dog. I am looking for another to complete my family.

  93. Jill Smith
    February 9, 2013 | 9:37 am

    We adopted a “free to good home” puppy back in 1997 and she was so loved and very happy all of her life.

  94. Holly
    February 8, 2013 | 8:36 pm

    Thank You Dogington Post for the helpful information. We need to be informed and I’m thankful you shared this with us. Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it. No one said that everyone who gets a “Free to good home” dog will do that. They are only trying to inform people that might put such ad on Craigslist or wherever that people have been known to do those sort of things and here are some suggestions to help prevent that from happening. Your comments cause me to wonder, Why are you getting so defensive? Why do you feel the need to defend yourself when no one has even accused you of anything?
    Anyway, Thanks again for the useful information. Keep up the Good Work!

    • Brandy Arnold
      February 8, 2013 | 9:21 pm
      Brandy Arnold

      Thanks Holly! You got the point of the article entirely!

      I, too, rescued a “craigslist puppy” once, and gave her a wonderful life. And, I do recall every time someone asked where I got her, the nasty looks and comments I got when I said “I found her on Craigslist.” Perhaps these commenters are defensive for that reason…. who knows.

      The point, though, is not to attack good people that give good homes to dogs, it’s to point out the dangers of giving away a dog for free on Craigslist and assuming that the person you’re handing your beloved pet over to is a good person. Yes, many of us have found great dogs through classified ads, and many dogs have found loving homes that way, but giving away a free dog on Craigslist is essentially welcoming abusers, fighters, and murderers to take ownership of your dog. Best to take extra precautions when listing a dog to make sure he actually does end up in a loving forever home!

      Thanks for understanding the point of the article and helping to drive it home!

      • Robert
        February 20, 2013 | 6:38 pm

        We just adopted a ‘free to good home’ puppy. They were very concerned that she went to a good home.
        We have been vetted by Carolina Border collie rescue and have adopted a tricolor BC via Virgina (blue ridge if i recall).

        We have 7 girls, 2 1/2 acre yard in the country and the barking does not bother others. They get really good food and vet at need.
        I understand that shelter fees can be a problem, but its not like you are paying just to pay. Its to help defray the cost of housing, vets food ….
        Our elder girls , one is a foster that we decided to keep instead of being passed around or worse, the other is my aid dog/seizure alert Dora who is now 12 and retired. The new girl will be her successor , never replacement, there is none.
        Roxy is a joy and a handful. but would not want it any other way. ACDs are smart and charming and BCs are high energy so we now have an ACD/ border mix..

  95. JEFF
    February 8, 2013 | 7:58 pm


    • Christina Berry
      April 19, 2013 | 10:13 am

      Jeff, you are absolutely right – not all people are heartless idiots. I, too, have had dogs (and cats) that were free to a good home, and I have always taken amazing care of my pets. They truly did luck out when they got me as their owner.

      But Jeff, please. Not everyone is like you and I. Not everyone’s intentions are good. Don’t fool yourself. Even if the MAJORITY of people are decent (and I don’t know that they are), there are still an awful lot of bad people in the world. It’s a known fact, as this article states, that dog fighting rings and crazies do scour Craigslist looking for free animals to use for evil purposes.

      If you’re giving away a pet, how can you POSSIBLY know FOR SURE that the person taking your animal is a good person who will love and care for the pet? You can’t. But studies have shown that by charging even $20 for a pet, you will weed out many of those whose intentions are not good.

      I’m all for people taking responsibility and finding homes for their unwanted pets, rather than dumping them in a shelter and letting someone else do the work. But there are right ways and wrong ways to go about re-homing your pet. This article simply points out the facts and reminds people to be careful. As an obvious animal lover, rather than get defensive about this article, you need to wake up and see the truth, and then do what you can to educate people on the dangers of “free to good home”. When defenseless animals’ lives are at stake, can we really be TOO careful?

      Check out my post about the dangers of “Free To Good Home” –

      • Melissa
        April 20, 2013 | 9:25 pm

        Well said Christina!

      • R M
        May 30, 2013 | 8:56 pm

        Well said, Christina. Jeff, this article isn’t saying 100% of people are bad. Sure there are some good people out there who will take care of a dog as their forever home. But what they’re saying is, do you really want to take the CHANCE that you or a friend could be giving away a dog to bad people? Do you really want to risk that? I would think any who loved their pet so dearly would go through the steps mentioned above, if they’ve read this article, just to play it safe. It’s just an extra precaution to ensure a real forever home. I wouldn’t take any chances with giving up my pet (if I had to) to just anyone. I would HAVE to know that the people were legit and going to take good care of her. Knock on wood, I hope I never have to give her up.

      • liz
        July 10, 2013 | 6:54 am

        Well said…I saved a min pin from a shelter paid 125 for her 6 weeks later she died from parvo she had it before I bought her and I spent almost 1500 at the vets to try and save her…when I went back to the shelter I basically told it was my refund of the money and from a friend that worked there they had 4 more dogs die from it…and the main boss joked about how it saved the cost to euthanize… so not all shelters are decent either..then the following year I got another min pin who was a year old and “free to a good home ” I drove 2 hrs to pick him up and he was a member of our family for 14 years until he passed away in my arms….he never wanted for anything…trying to scare people from giving dogs away free where there only choice would to be buying from a expensive shelter is wrong…there are just as bad shelters as there are bad people…one thing I never understood about shelters…they carry on how they care for dogs but they would rather kill a dog than let someone have it..just because they can’t afford the outrageous fee…to me that’s about the money not the poor dog…I understand the cost of taking care of the animals when I lived in the country I fostered trust me I understand the costs…I’m just saying if a nice family that can’t afford the high fee wants to save a animal that’s being put down…why not choose to let the dog live and have a family…but instead they choose to put it down because of money… that’s sad.

        • Debbie
          October 11, 2013 | 11:37 pm

          I guess there is one question I would like someone to answer for me. If you are going to charge 400 to 500 dollars for an adoption fee why not just go to a breeder and pay the same amount for the pup you want. Isnt the adoption fee just making the backyard breeder more popular? Some people that can’t afford the 400 dollar adoption fee can give an animal a good and happy home. A pet doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor they just want to be loved and to feel safe. Sometimes we need them just as much as they need us!

          • Wendy
            January 16, 2014 | 3:19 am

            Debbie, the adoption fee, as stated numerous times above, attempts to cover all the costs in properly preparing a dog or cat for adoption. That means spaying or neutering, necessary shots, deworming, and either heartworm testing for dogs or fe-leuk testing for cats. If you pay a breeder that same amount, you still have to pay the vet a lot of extra money to have done what the shelter covered for you. Most times shelters don’t recover the cost of the vet bills.

        • Robin Lindemann
          January 15, 2014 | 4:07 pm

          And just think: If that MinPin had had its shots, it would not have contracted parvo and as well if the dog it contracted it from had its shots.

          • auraxoxo
            January 15, 2014 | 11:16 pm

            What is your point, Robin? The animal came from a shelter and a fee was paid which would mean that it should have had at least one round of vaccinations.

            The same thing happened to me. I adopted two puppies from a local shelter, paid the fee only to get them home and spend over 2000 trying to keep them alive. At first I was told it was nothing but kennel cough, but it was really parvo. Then when they were both finally getting better a vet convinced me that they should be given a full course of immunizations. A week later one was dead. The other one thankfully pulled through.

            We went back to the shelter to tell them what happened and they offered to give back the adoption fee, we turned them down on that, but came to find out that they had a ton of animals die from parvo in that month. A few months later I saw on the news that that shelter had been found in violation of all sorts of things and was forced to close while things were fixed and a whole new staff was hired.

            When we got the puppies they were supposed to be current on shots, but it didn’t stop what happened. So I don’t see what the point of your post was in relation to the OP. It isn’t their fault the shelter they adopted from failed to do what they were supposed to. I firmly believe that my dog was killed by the immunizations a vet insisted we give him even though his immune system was weakened and he was still weak from being so ill. Doctors won’t give immunizations to a sick baby, why would you give them to a sick puppy.

    • NYDogWhisperer
      May 29, 2013 | 10:53 am

      Just because you are good to the dog doesn’t take away from the fact that evil people look for these dogs to use as fighting bait, sell to labatories etc. Paying $50 for a dog isn’t asking a lot to give but it saves the dog from a fate worse than death.

      • holly
        December 15, 2013 | 4:33 pm

        I am not sure where in NY you live, but I live in one of the 5 boroughs. The ONLY dog I saw for less than $175 was my chihuahua, I got him for $25. The rest are either free or petshop prices. I have no idea why I should pay some kid $400 for a BLUE EYED chihuahua puppy, without shots. If rehoming fees were $50 , no one would really care.

    • Sheila
      May 29, 2013 | 12:58 pm

      Why all caps???? It hurts the eyes. Also, no says ALL free to good homes end badly – but most do. For the animals sake it better safe then sorry

      • Katie
        September 8, 2013 | 1:59 am


      • holly
        December 15, 2013 | 4:36 pm

        There are some high profile cases of FTGH adoptions going wrong, but the overwhelming majority end up great.

    • Brandy Arnold
      June 23, 2013 | 12:23 pm
      Brandy Arnold

      Absolutely. This article is more of a warning to anyone offering their pet Free to a Good Home on Craigslist. It is a warning of what very often happens to dogs that are given away for free in classified ads.

      In other words, if you MUST rehome your dog, charge a small rehoming fee to avoid him ending up in a figting ring or being tortured.

    • Sandra
      September 30, 2013 | 11:41 pm

      I have a chocolate lab that was a free dog. We adopted him on a Thursday. Had him vaccinated by Saturday and neutered a week and a half later. We are now considering training as there are a couple of quirks about him that the old owners did not mention (like constant barking) and aggressive behavior while on leash.
      So as far as the free dog goes…not all people that adopt this way are bad families. I fell in love with a picture and he has a forever home.
      Just be careful of who you give your dog to. Check references, visit homes, and ask for updates but before you even go there…make sure that when you get a dog make sure that you will be able to give him the forever home that he/she deserves so that you are not found in this kind of predicament.

    • Pamela Davin
      October 1, 2013 | 2:45 pm

      All this is thought produceing. I do rescue work for Pets in Distress and foster and a minimum price for a veted dog is $200.00.. not too much. The problem is very difficult. The Humane shelter charges $80. per and gives a good package. but we go around and take the dogs off Death Row when possible. I think we should focus on fundraiseing for rescues, and not that costly campaign against petstore or Puppymills. Do something constructive to help suffering animals instead of spending money in a slander campaign that is dto failure. Does anyone believe petstores will be hurt or puppymills stopped ???

  96. Jill
    February 8, 2013 | 4:48 pm

    We paid $35 for an oops puppy this fall. We don’t have a lot of money and I really wanted a puppy. I would rather spend the money on food and other items to care for this puppy then spending shelter fees which at that moment I could not afford, AND buy pet food etc.
    Our dog is VERY loved and VERY well cared for.
    I know that is apparently not the norm, but not all free or cheap dogs go to bad homes.
    I just wanted others to know that. Sometimes there are valid loving homes wanting to take in a puppy or dog and yes, for free.

    • Becky
      April 22, 2013 | 7:57 pm

      Hang on – if you paid $35 for it, it wasn’t exactly free then ,was it?

      • Cheryl
        October 2, 2013 | 5:34 am

        She didn’t say she got it for free Becky. She said free dogs go to loving homes too.

        • Nicole
          October 19, 2013 | 8:59 pm

          But how can she say that? She doesn’t have a free dog. This article was specifically about FTGH dogs.
          Having said that, I agree that some free dogs do end up in good homes. I have one myself. I think maybe even two out of three end up as the lucky ones. But what about the other ones? THAT’s the point this article is trying to make.
          And the point Becky was making is that you cant use your example of a $35 puppy to argue that a free dog went to a good home. The dog wasn’t free.

          • Laura
            January 15, 2014 | 10:05 pm

            She said FREE or CHEAP dogs go to good homes. Re-read it, geesh!!

      • holly
        December 15, 2013 | 3:07 pm

        Well, I have 2 dogs, one I got for free, and the other I paid $25 for. I have 4 children, my days of spending $1700 on a dog are long gone. Some people are terrible, we get that. What I don’t understand is what is stopping the horrible people from breeding their own dogs for whatever sick purposes? My dogs are well cared for and receive a lot of love. I think more dogs should be offered freeif the owner knows for sure they will surrender them to a kill shelter. I saved both dogs from ever having to be placed in shelters, because both pervious owners was planning to send them to one within the next day or two. You listed a few horror stories as reasons why dogs should not be free, however, I bet you will never talk about the millions of dogs that went to great loving homes.

        • Robin Lindemann
          January 15, 2014 | 3:52 pm

          Because unfortunately, you are among a minority, not a majority. Better than half of FTGH animals, rarely end up in a good home. In many cases, they are worse off than where they were before.

    • Mat
      April 24, 2013 | 8:44 am

      So you don’t have the money to pay a “shelter fee… AND pet food” yet you somehow have the money to neuter the unaltered animal, take it to the vet for wellness exam, provide it with preventative vaccinations and medications, care for it when it is sick, and provide nourishment and enrichment?

      Let me guess… You don’t do any of those things (which a comparatively small “shelter fee” would have done for you). So much for “VERY well cared for.” Sigh.

      • Chuck
        May 4, 2013 | 8:19 am

        Shelter fees are not so “small”. The fees sometimes come out to around the same as if you were at a breeder. I can get the same care for my kids for less than what many shelters and rescue sites charge. There was one place re-homing ‘rescued’ Min Pins for over $400 each. That’s re-sale, not rescue.
        A lot of people can provide a good home, even if they are on a budget. Many vets will still work with those who don’t have a lot of money. In the end, it’s all about the welfare of the pet, not about making money.

        • NYDogWhisperer
          May 29, 2013 | 10:55 am

          SO charge $50! One woman gave her dog away for free and later saw it being dragged on a rope behind a car by a bunch of teenagers. That is what Free gets you.

          • chas
            January 29, 2014 | 4:28 pm

            I must say I think everyone is missing the point….I think that these dogs owners should have better checked the person they were giving their dogs to…for instance, I got my beloved dog from one of my past residents(I’m a STNA) for free…my resident had cancer and didn’t have long to live…knowing how much buckeye meant to him I told him that I would give him a loving home with me. I know that not every dog can be this lucky nor does every person know someone that is a dog person but I think that if your going to give your dog away you should be responsible enough to keep tabs on your former furry companion and the person…maybe visit the home…that poor dog loved you thats the least you can do

        • Candace
          May 29, 2013 | 12:19 pm

          Depending on where you live, $400 may not be a lot of money for a rescue. I’m a volunteer foster for a rescue completely run by volunteers and we charge $250 and could not continue if not for private donations other than adoptions. In many areas of the country it costs around $300 just to spay/neuter a dog, not to mention feeding them quality food, vaccines, treating illness such as heartworms, etc. A legitimate non-profit rescue will be happy to share their financials or tax return with you so you can see where the money goes. Having a pet is NOT CHEAP! If you can’t afford the cost, then don’t get one.

          • Kmonty
            June 19, 2013 | 9:37 am

            right on candace!! AMEN.

          • Aunt Jane
            January 18, 2014 | 11:43 pm

            So because I’m on a limited income you would rather have a dog euthanized than give it to me? I couldn’t afford a $300 adoption fee for a stray mutt! My recent experience with trying to find a companion dog left me thinking that many were either scams or businesses! Yes, rescue is expensive but you you interested in financing your operation or helping dogs? Actually I lucked out and a local human society had a 2 year old pit available for adoption with a fee of only $80 and that covered a spay, microchip and basic shots! She is presently asleep on my sofa!
            If people can afford high fees to help that’s great but $$$ shouldn’t prevent a dog going to a loving home even if it is with an old lady that doesn’t live in a mansion!

        • Kmonty
          June 19, 2013 | 9:35 am

          You know nothing of what you speak. I have my own rescue group in Boston and we charge $400- $425 per dog and that sometimes does not even COVER the full cost it is to us. Rescues pay pull fees from shelters, pay for boarding til they can bring the animal up north, pay for vetting to bring the animal up to date on vaccines, pay for spay/neuter to help stop overpopulation from the top, pay for transport to get the dog to the state where it’s safe, pay for 48-hour quarantine once the dog crosses our state lines per state law. All of that totaling sometimes JUST UNDER the fees we charge. The majority of rescues are non-profit and volunteer run where people shed blood, sweat and tears to keep it running and stay afloat. And in the often rare case that the cost of the dog is below what the fees are to adopt him out, that money goes directly to another dog that ended up being more expensive because he had kennel cough or parasites or heartworm. So don’t dare to presume to know anything about rescue or make it seem like rescues are making an easy profit. You sound like an idiot.

          • Gina Meyer
            September 30, 2013 | 4:58 pm

            I love the above person (Kmonty)! I agree 100%.

          • Barb
            October 1, 2013 | 11:58 am

            Well said KMONTY…..the volunteers who work in animal rescue are selfless people doing a rewarding but often heartbreaking job.

          • Cheryl
            October 2, 2013 | 5:05 am

            Kmonty, I would love to know how successful your rescue is with such high adoption fees. It may not be high for your area but here 90% of them would be euthanized at that price. Our shelter charges $55 and that includes spay/neuter and vaccines. Our shelter can’t take cash donations only dog/cat food, toys, blankets. They keep around 100 dogs at a time.

          • Laurel
            January 16, 2014 | 8:01 am

            All of my dogs have been rescues, and the adoption fees with spaying were right about $200. The annual needs my dog has before food is about $350, with another$260/year or so in food. I’m seeing more people list their dogs for $50-100 just to ensure the new owners will be able to care for them. I don’t think of that as greedy or someone trying to profit from the sale of their dog, I see it as them looking out for their loved one.

        • denise g
          October 1, 2013 | 5:41 am

          Realize shelter fees often cover a year’s vet fees. Spay/neuter and shots/ often micro chipping too. If you add all these up it’s much less than getting a ‘free’ dog and having to pay this vet bill yourself. Check it out.

        • Lori
          January 15, 2014 | 8:59 pm

          Yes, rescues charge an average of $200-400 in adoption fees. This gets you a dog that is spayed/neutered, heartworm tested, up to date on all shots & HW medication, groomed & often trained & having a dental cleaning. Call your local vet & groomer & get an estimate, add it up. NO reputable dog rescue makes money rehoming dogs, quite the opposite. This does not include the vet bills for any injuries or illnesses the neglected animals incur before rescue. Many dogs incur an average of $500 to thousands of dollars in vet bills. If you can’t afford to help defray these costs with a $400 adoption fee, what will happen when the dog gets sick & needs extensive medical treatment? I’ll tell you. The dog will end up in a shelter or on Craigslist to be hopefully rescued again… so we can once again pay his vet bills.

      • carol
        May 29, 2013 | 3:19 pm


      • steve
        May 31, 2013 | 7:35 pm


        • Kimmi
          July 9, 2013 | 11:36 am

          I run a purebred kennel and my dogs are not used for money!
          I spend FAAAAAR more on them then I really should! The one rescue I have right now (as we lost my senior rescue to cancer 5 months ago) is costing close to $1,000 a month in medication and special food because his organs are shutting down due to me getting him from a backyard breeder when I was in high School!
          I work full time while attending school do that my fur kids have an amazing life!

          This article was supposed to warn people giving their pets up free of what could happen, not start bashing the people trying to make life better for the animals!

          Proper breeders ONLY breed to enhance the breed and to cut out genetic health problems, don’t run your mouth about things you clearly have no information about!

          I’ve spent hours upon weeks upon months helping rescues and to see how little the adoption fee covers when they rescue these dogs that were given up without anyone looking into the people taking their babies and they do turn into being tortured and abused…. Do you think that “outrageously high” adoption fee covers the cost to amputate a leg and repair a fractured pelvis because some retard tied your dog to the grill of his truck and starting hitting trees and everything in his way???

          Most foundations and rescues will work with you if you can’t pay the fee all at once, so again, if your going to bash something, please be knowledgeable as you just sound like an errogant prick..

          • Cheryl
            January 15, 2014 | 1:33 pm

            Kimmi, WHY are you breeding dogs at all? That doesn’t sound like RESCUE to me. As for the “retard” comment….shame on you

        • Aunt Jane
          January 18, 2014 | 11:46 pm

          I’m with you Steve!!

      • Barbara Schmick
        June 19, 2013 | 1:56 am

        Shelter fees are not exactly “small” ! Most adoption fees are as high as the cost to purchase a registered pure-bred animal from a legitimate breeder. And there is a great difference in coming up with one lump sum of a few hundred dollars and paying for food and maintenance which can be budgeted even for those of us on limited and/or set incomes.
        If adoption fees actually were affordable, or set on a sliding income scale, there would not be so many animals killed each year – many of them might be adopted by retirees or lower income families who could offer the animal LOVE if not financial security and a stock portfolio !!

        • Susan
          October 5, 2013 | 6:12 am

          There are two sides to this story and both have a point a lot of local vets will give shots and free or discounted fees for spay or neutering a pet going to a good home but a pet owner should make sure that all the needs of the mew family pet are within their budget before getting one as it much more than food and treats do your research new pet want to be owners and make sure your budget allows all the necessities of life and a contingincy fund for emergencies

          • Susan Horsefield-McInnis
            October 5, 2013 | 7:04 am

            Exactly what are you all arguing about ? There are shelters that are overcrowded and have death row what would you have a loving pet owner do that needed to rehome their beloved pet for some reason a good reason put them in these already overcrowded systems I know my local shelter is bursting at the seems and thank god they are a no kill shelter but what about in the US where most are ? I hate to say it but in Canada we have far fewer kill shelters than you do in the states and we have our fair share of puppy mills and abuse as well. When a person loves their pet they are not going to just mert the person once and then give it away at least not the ones I have ever known it is a process so it is very possible for responsible pet owners to give away their pet to a new forever home with the proper steps in place. As far as someone who can’t afford the shelter fee there are lots of vets at least where I live that give for free or discount spaying neutering shots and all emergency medical care if the owner is proven to be a responsible owner and let’s face it vet bills are rising all the time I have had cats all my life and my first lived to be 17 my second and third were sisters and one lived to be 14 and one my little one lived with thyroid disease to the ripe old age of 20 years old and my last one is on the bed with me right now at the age of almost 15 I must be doing something right and a hint for some of you pet medications can sometimes be bought at your own pharmacy for half the cost with a prescrition from the vet anyway I understand that the concern is not to just give your pet away to the first person who knocks at the foot but anyone who has taken the time to write a post here is obviously not the ones we need to worry about You can give your pet away for free if you follow a process and not a transaction

      • Kailyn
        June 23, 2013 | 12:33 am

        First of all it’s expensive to go to the vet period and just because someone’s dog doesn’t go and get all that shit done doesn’t mean that animal is being neglect. Everyone on here I can promise be like aww to that picture of the homeless man cuddle his dog on a damn box in the rain. Theirs homeless people out there who have kids and you ask them kids they say it would be great to have all that expensive shit go to the doctors and get braces and all that but I love my mom or dad or siblings and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Animals cherish their owners for the love they give and if they can give them shots to protect them it’s a plus but if I had I give a pet to low income family who couldn’t afford all the vet care but I know would love my pet and at least provide food water love and basic medical they could I would give my dog to them in a fuming heart beat over ich people who wouldn’t give to fucks about living my pet..

        • Elka
          September 30, 2013 | 10:33 pm

          Kailyn, your attitude says it all. Your profanity makes me not want to take your opinion seriously.

          • wanda
            January 15, 2014 | 1:11 pm

            These dogs that belong to the homeless are usually the first to end up in shelters. There are very few homeless people that can even afford to FEED a dog, much less vet it. Sure, it may be loved, but not vetting a dog (shots, spay, neuter, etc) is still in my opinion, abuse!

        • petlover1970
          February 25, 2014 | 7:02 am

          In my city, there is a homeless guy who pan handles on the same corner every day. Every day he has his loyal dog with him. I give him a few dollars when I drive by, but Ive actually seen folks give him bags of dog food. That dog is all he has and you can just see the love between them. Without that dog he probably would have given up a long time ago! Every (kind) person deserves a loving pet in their life!

      • Eve
        September 27, 2013 | 1:47 am

        UGggg, thinking the same thing!! Also why do people think that just because they are fairly decent folk that everyone is like them? Didn’t she read the article? what if children were given away for cheap or free on CL? Rapists, human traffickers and abusers would love it! Documented harm has been done to animals, now puppy doe, why don’t people SEE it?

      • Elka
        September 30, 2013 | 10:31 pm

        Paying a rescue society $75 or more for an animal is a bargain! Spaying a (cat) is often $200 alone. A rescue society will also check it for Feline Leukemia and F.I.V.; microchip; and vaccinate the (cat). How many people, who give away their pets, have bothered to have had this all done?

      • holly
        December 15, 2013 | 3:39 pm

        I am at the point in my life where I refuse to pay a lot for an animal. I don’t mind giving $100 or so to a shelter, but no one else is going to get that kind of money for me for a dog anymore. I really don’t understand people that believe I should pay them back for the time they owned the dog. I have 2 dogs currently, one I got for free, the other I paid $25 for. It just so happens both eat human food. The shipoo might eat some of the dog if I soak it well and mash it in with chicken, the chihuahua will simply not eat if the dog food is mixed in too well. So the short answer to your question regarding how do people that do not want to pay for dogs feed them, the short answer is food is $5 a bag or they eat what we eat. I take my dogs to the vet. They wellness exam cost $30 where I go. Last time I took my shipoo to the vet it cost me $70 for an allergy shot, antibiotic ointment, exam and rabies vaccine. So the short answer to your question regarding how do people that do not want to pay adoption fees, take a dog to the vet is, we do. We don’t mind paying the professional, we simply don’t feel like people should be reimbursed for expenses while they owned the dog. As far as fixing my dogs, my male chihuahua came fixed, but not my female shipoo. I would not fix female dogs because it makes them more aggressive. If my chihuahua was not fixed however I would have simply paid the $100 fee. People like you simply don’t like to see dogs going to a new family for little to no monetary funds because you like to control everything. You want to treat other dog owners like they are you own pets and are using negative reinforcement when a stren “bad pet owner” is not enough to get people to do as you believe they should.

        • Lynette
          January 16, 2014 | 2:43 am

          I have had every female dog that I’ve owned spayed and none of them have ever been aggressive. I’ve never even heard that theory before.

          • Shari
            January 16, 2014 | 10:23 am

            Holly, you are a very ignorant person. Spaying a female actually lessens the dog showing aggression because they don’t have crazy hormones driving them wild, Same for males being neutered. Please don’t get another dog.

          • B
            July 23, 2014 | 2:33 pm

            On the contrary, there are cases with studies done where the female dog that was spayed becomes aggressive. Here is one site with examples. That being said, more often than not, it lowers aggression.


        • Aunt Jane
          January 18, 2014 | 11:54 pm

          Spaying and neutering makes dogs MUCH less aggressive,esp. males and much less trouble. There are spay/neuter clinics in most areas. they live happier lives with less health issues if they are “fixed” and the world has too many little homeless kittens and puppys! Otherwise I kinda agree!

        • Pam
          January 24, 2014 | 11:16 pm

          Fixing a female dog does not make them aggressive, I own a Maltese and she was fixed at six months and she is healthy and the most wonderful dog I have ever owned. Great with all people young or old. Please do not try to set peoples minds when you do not know the truth…..each dog has different personalities just like people do, and they respond to the way they are trained and treated by their owners. Show them respect, kindness, love and you will never see a more loyal companion.

      • Lori
        January 16, 2014 | 9:08 am

        If you can’t afford to buy dog food & a shelter fee maybe you should reconsider getting the dog/cat…What are you going to do when something happens to the dog/cat & needs care? Dump the dog at the shelter & let them treat the dog? That’s what a lot of people do when they can’t afford to treat their dog. Make it someone elses problem.
        If you can’t afford the shelter fee, how are you going to afford to get the “free” dog/cat properly vetted (all shots, microchipped, spay/neuter, heartworm tested & started on prevention, de-worming) on your own? Because it is very rare that you could do it cheaper than the shelter has done.

    • NYDogWhisperer
      May 29, 2013 | 10:52 am

      Who paid for the shots, the spay/neutering/ the early socialization, etc?

      • holly
        December 15, 2013 | 3:48 pm

        I have 4 children and 2 dogs. Children are not equal to dogs. If there is even a hint of a Sophie Choice between the bratty child up the block that calls you names and your beloved dog, you have a social problem that most likely has a name known to the medical community.

    • nikki
      July 20, 2013 | 7:42 pm

      I have looking 4 a free dog on line 4 so long it almost makes me want 2 quit looking.Ican’t buy 1 but can afford 1 .I have 9 acers a pound an woods for a very very big dog.can anyone help!!! had 2 post this somewere.thanks

      • LeAnn
        October 1, 2013 | 11:14 am

        NO. You may want a dog. You may think you deserve a dog. You may even think you have a perfect home for a dog. But if you can’t pay the adoption fees–which doesn’t even off-set the veterinary expenses for that dog–then you certainly cannot afford the ongoing care for the animal.

        Despite what others have said, failing to vaccinate your dog IS ABUSE. AND not spaying or neutering your pet not only leaves them sexually frustrated with raging hormones, it makes them more likely to run away or bite with behavior and mood problems, produces more dogs and contributes to the already overwhelming pet overpopulation problem, and it makes them susceptible to all kinds of cancers and diseases. All of which you would not be able to afford to provide care for if you cannot pay the nominal adoption fee!

        If you are unwilling to pay the basics of what that rescue or shelter has already covered, then you should not have a dog!

        • Lisa
          October 2, 2013 | 4:09 am

          Hold on people. I worked for a vet for 4 years you don’t need vaccinations except when they are young and then you can find ways to get free shots at animal fairs etc I personally don’t believe in anything other than a rabies shot and Ive been around animals my entire life in fact we had 6 cats that lived outside and all lived to 16 years or older and NEVER had shots or worming just flea control since they were kittens. I have adopted all my animals cats and dog and they are very cheap to adopt at SOME NPOS and COUNTY run places have specials my cat was $35 to adopt and was fully vetted so was my dog thank you Alaqua Rescue. Since my cats dont go outside they don’t need shots or worming period. They get flea control and are puuuuferctly healthy. My dog gets flea control and only because I live in Florida does he need heartworm pills. I believe you can own an animal very cheaply and I believe its better to adopt than let them die in shelters. You don’t need a lot of money to own a pet or a child you just need love. They do need their shots and worming and spaying when young but after that you can have a pet for very little money and what you get in return is priceless. We live in a fear driven media crazy society. Animals have been around and some on the streets for as long as we have been on the planet and some do just fine without our assistance. Now Im not saying they cant get expensive when they get older or sick or injured but for the most part they don’t need much just love and food. Be kind to all living creatures and we will all be in a better world. That is all.

          • robin
            October 5, 2013 | 9:01 am

            Loved your comment. I don’t have any free to good home pets, although when I see them in classifieds I just want to go and take everyone of them to keep them out of harms way. But I do have 10 cats and 2 dogs, most of mine are in the 5-17 year range. I have them because people keep dumping them because I live in the country, or I find them homeless on the street and the shelter is full so they can’t take them, so I am not going to throw them back on the street, especially at -30 in the winter. I am not rich, but they get the basics. Flea med, and aids check, very good food no grain, no fillers (not Walmart stuff) Lifetime. So if you really want a animal and you dont want to pay a fee, why don’t you help one on the street? PS: Every animal I have is fixed! I don’t want more street animals incase one escapes!

          • laura
            January 15, 2014 | 4:47 pm

            I wholeheartedly agree with you. I also would like to commend you for you for simply stating the facts and not stoop to name calling. Most of the other comments are just a tit for a tat. Over forty years we have always had 2-3 dogs at a time until they passed and now we currently have three. There shots are very reasonable at the local humane society, they were all spayed for 40 dollars at the same place and a spayed license only cost $4. We do purchase a quality dog food for roughly 40 dollars a month and subsidized that cucumbers, carrots, green beans. Their treats are slice sweet potatoes baked in the oven on 250 for 2-3 hours, let sit in over til dry, keep in plastic and refrigerate. There are many ways to properly care for your pet if you are determined. P.S. Over the years I have been given dogs, paid for some, and rescued some.

        • Cheryl
          October 2, 2013 | 5:17 am

          Rude lately??!
          Getting animals neutered to keep them from getting cancer is bologna! All those unnecessary yearly vaccines suppressing their immune system is what cause all those diseases. It has been proven just recently.

          • Cheryl
            October 2, 2013 | 5:36 am

            EXACTLY Lisa, well said!!

        • Aunt Jane
          January 18, 2014 | 11:58 pm

          Baloney! Check out Tractor Supply if you are shot of money, they frequently have vaccination clinics for basic shots without the huge office fees vets charge. I notice the local PetCo does this as well! Everyone doesn’t have a $200,000 a year income, some of us live on Social Security or work at McDonalds or WalMart!

      • holly
        December 15, 2013 | 4:00 pm

        Where do you live? I sometimes check out the pet sections on Craigslist to see what kind of dogs are available in a given region. I live in NY and you can come across pit bulls being given away at least weekly. Many parts of the country, D.C. for example, don’t even have a lot of dogs for sale, much less being given away. Arizona have a massive amount of low cost or free chihuahuas, which excites me because they are one of my favorite breeds. If you plan to travel outside of your local area, check the Craigslist in that area. I would like to add you really should be prepared for the vet bills because you sound like you live in an area with numerous ticks.

    • tina
      September 30, 2013 | 8:23 pm

      oh KAY!! lets take a closer look at this $35 dog.. we all know you gave some sap 35 bucks for a dog.. it cost him what to raise it? then lets see if its a pups then the little fellow needs shots .. give you 10 bucks a shot times 3 that’s 30 bucks.. plus rabies 15 now its 45.. getting the dog fixed? no? cant afford it so there is now more pups to die.. Yes .. ok that is at a cheap place 75 bucks.. so we are now at 120 .. micro chip? incase the poor fellow gets lost.. again cheap place 30 so we are at $150.. oh but wait still need to add them pup at 35 grand total of 185. YOU as a reasonable pet owner spend $185 for a pup when it would have cost about $75 to $120 to get a pup from a shelter.. and you say you don’t have money.. SORRY THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE OR CHEAP DOG.. they all cost money.. IF YOU CANT AFFORD A DOG THEN YOU SHOULD NOT GET ONE!! END OF STORY..

    • Robin Lindemann
      January 15, 2014 | 3:48 pm

      If you only had $35.00 for a pet, where are you going to come up with the money for medical expenses, shots, spaying or neutering, rabies, good/decent food and I do not mean Ole Roys from Walmart. (You do not buy food by how cheap it is) cleaning/grooming your pets, illnesses…where will you get the money to pay for these things? Pets are an expense and if you do not have the money to afford to take care of said pet, please do not get the pet.

    • Dana
      March 9, 2014 | 4:56 pm

      Congratulations on your new god and congratulations to the puppy on her new home. I am sure she would be loved and cared for.
      However, I have a question here. If someone “doesn’t have money” to pay shelter fee – how come this person can afford a pet? The shelters provide neutering, de-worming, some sort of health and behaviour assessment, certain training and socialization. It costs waaay more than 200-400$ they charge for a dog. If one “really wants a puppy” but lives on very limited income and can hardly afford everyday support of a god – what happens if there will be more vet bills? Especially an “ad” dog may have health problems new owner is not aware off. What about neutering? Training? Dog-sitting if needed? What about some emergencies, including health and financial – latter more likely to happen to people with limited finances?
      As many people wrote below: if one cannot afford a shelter fee – this person or family probably cannot afford a pet. Sorry, no offense to anyone.

  97. Kayla
    April 22, 2014 | 2:51 am

    A free or “cheap” animal isn’t always cheap. $200-$400 is a great amount. When I was searching for a corgi, they all wanted around $1,200. Now THAT’S how you can tell someone is trying to make money off of the dog. I got mine for $1,100, but it included a lot of toys, a leash, a harness, and other common care supplies.

  98. Penny Reames
    May 4, 2014 | 5:33 pm

    Are you kidding me? You just condemned your puppies parents to living their lives in very small cages, sitting in their own waste, no medical care, crap dog food, rotten painful teeth, very little human interaction–what contact they do get is usually painful– no exercise or stimulation. Just having litter after litter, and then probably being shot or hit in the head with a hammer when they are no longer productive. All over a few hundred dollars. How proud you must feel.

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