While we are aware that every animal needs a loving home, and it can sometimes be hard to find homes for litters of kittens or puppies, or pets which you are no longer able to keep for any reason, we would advise proceeding with extreme caution before offering them for free. There are a number of reasons why it can be very unwise to give your cherished baby or much-loved pet away for free.
- People value what they pay for. If an animal is obtained free of charge, there are some people who will value it accordingly, and resent spending any money on its welfare, for example vet bills or spay/neuter costs, and are much more likely to abandon or abuse the animal if any problems arise, or it's no longer a cute baby.
- There is no way of finding out the true motivation for wanting the free animal. Puppies and dogs can and do end up becoming bait for or used to train fighting dogs.
- There are now many out there who collect free pets in order to sell or "flip" them to make money. They won't tell you this, and often present themselves as a "good" home, bringing family and telling you how great the animal will be treated. These pets are then found on FB or Craigslist the next day for sale at an inflated price, with the flipper not caring at all who buys the pet.
- Small kittens, rabbits and other small furries (hamsters, gerbils, etc.) can also end up being taken by the 'adopter' to the so-called 'good home' and being fed to pet snakes for dinner.
- Some people seek out free kittens and puppies in order to breed them and make money in kitten or puppy mills. These poor creatures lead a miserable, loveless life in a cage without any vet care, as the owners seek to make as much profit from them as possible.
- Other people collect or "hoard" animals, unable to resist the compulsion to take every free animal that comes their way.
All reputable animal rescues will ask for a donation or fee when rehoming an animal, not only to cover their expenses, but to deter people wanting free animals for these purposes. Please, if you need to rehome an animal for any reason, always ask for a fee.
Never offer an animal 'free to a good home'. Always ask the potential adopter questions to be sure it really is a good home. Asking for a vet reference and checking their profile is always a good idea as well.
Also, please spay and neuter your animals to avoid unwanted litters being born. Then you won't have to worry about finding homes for them!