This was Annabelle when she was found, used for a bait dog, could not breathe on her own. She is just a puppy. Annabelle died 2 days after she was found.
Free to Good Home? Think again!!

Shelters and rescues are frequently criticized for charging an adoption fee. "If you're so anxious to find homes for these pets," we're told, "you should just give them away."

This attitude makes us shudder. In the first place, these small fees in no way begin to cover the cost incurred for medical treatment and upkeep of the pets we adopt out. Yes, we're anxious to find homes for our animals--GOOD homes. And many people who take free pets do provide wonderful homes. However, frequently--much too frequently!--animal welfare workers are called in to rescue former "free to good home" animals. 

Unfortunately, "free" is too often seen as "worthless" in the eye of the beholder.  Animal hoarders, 'back-yard breeders', "bunchers" and people who train dogs to fight frequently search the "free to good home" ads in newspapers and online.  This is how some people view a give-away pet:

  • FREE bait to train fighting dogs and greyhounds. 
  • FREE snake food
  • FREE sacrifice for satanic rituals.
  • FREE animal for malicious pranks
  • FREE to a good home to breed indiscriminately
  • FREE fish bait
  • FREE money from the research lab 
  • FREE animal to set on fire 
  • FREE animal to abuse   

PLEASE don't offer your companions FREE to a good home unless you just don't care what happens to them.

Volunteers who work endless hours to save pets from the horror of abuse and homelessness bring this message to you.

So, now that you know, what can you do to help?

Some folks answering the "Free to Good Home" ads really are loving, responsible pet owners. Many are not. There are steps YOU can take to help end abuse:

  • DON'T advertise your pet as Free; DO convince others not to. Some people even take the time to phone owners of pets advertising "Free to Good Home" and warn them of the dangers.

  • DO ask your local newspapers to quit accepting, or at least actively discourage, "Free To Good Home" ads.

  • DO write letters to the editors of your local newspapers warning of the dangers of "Free to Good Home".

  • DO spay/neuter to keep from creating possible "Free to Good Home" situations or condemning your pet to a short, miserable life in a puppy mill.

  • DO contact breed rescue organizations (there is one for every breed of pure-bred dog!) or local animal welfare organizations for help in placing unwanted pets; if you bought the pet from a responsible breeder, he/she will help you re-home the pet.

For more information and more steps you can take to help, visit: http://www.nowisconsinpuppymills.com/free.html

People value what they pay for.

   Pets obtained for free are less likely to be spayed or neutered by their new owners (why bother with vet bills?), and more likely to be abused and/or discarded, because "there are plenty more where that came from!" A recent study at one animal shelter yielded the startling statistic that 51% of all owner-surrendered dogs had been purchased for less than $100; 41% of all owner-surrendered dogs had been obtained "Free to good home."
This handsome, well-fed-looking fellow is Brutus, and he was spokes-dog for a dog and cat rescue organization for many years. Brutus started life as the pampered friend of "Mark." Brutus and Mark played ball together and walked on the beach together, and, in general, enjoyed each other's company. Then, Mark's company transferred him to a different state. Mark didn't know how to take Brutus with him, or considered it unfair to submit his friend to the trauma of moving, or just plain didn't know that most states DO allow big, good-natured dogs to move in with their masters.

      Whatever the reason, Mark placed an ad in his local newspaper: "Free to good home, friendly, lovable black lab." Someone saw the ad, called Mark, and said, "That's just the dog I've been looking for. Can I come over and see him?" The new person was very nice to Brutus, talked to him, rubbed his ears just the way Brutus liked to have his ears rubbed, and convinced Mark that he and Brutus were just made for each other.