People who advertise their pet as Free To Good Home, or ask for a small amount of money, do so with the faith that their pet will be well looked after.
Some of these pets will be lucky and go to genuinely caring people. However, there are too many people posing as good, caring people wanting to take the animal in, when what they are actually interested in is cruelly exploiting animals for their own ends.
Even if the person who initially takes your pet has good intentions, the simple fact is that, once a pet is no longer in your care, you have absolutely no control over who it gets passed on to, or what fate it may meet.
Below are just SOME of the fates commonly met by pets acquired through Free To Good Home adverts, or sold for a low price. These fates apply to many different species of pets, not just dogs and cats.
You will also find how to minimise the chances of these awful things happening to your pet and others' pets here, such as by taking your pet to a reputable rescue to be re-homed, or by following some simple, but vitally important, rules.
You can click on the headings below to go straight to that section of the page.
Pets can often end up in an abusive home when advertised as Free To Good
Home, or when checks are not thoroughly carried out on new homes.
The picture above shows Sean Deakin, an unemployed 19 year old (D.O.B 20.04.93), known at addresses Birchfield Avenue, Atherton, Wigan and Greenhill Road, Wakefield. He and his 19 year old girlfriend, Sarah Amanada Tame (D.O.B 06.07.92), known at the same addresses, responded to a free advert on the internet site Gumtree, offering a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Tyson.
Just a couple of days after getting Tyson, Sean Deakin, for no apparent reason, viciously attacked him with a hammer at 3am in the morning, smashing down around 20 blows on his head, while girlfriend Sarah laughed. Three hours later Deakin woke to find that the frightened dog had urinated on the bed. Deakin chased the terrified Tyson, gripped him between his legs and stabbed him in the chest with a six inch knife. For the next 12 hours he allowed Tyson to die slowly, in agony, unable to move, fully conscious and vomiting.
Neither Deakin, nor his girlfriend Sarah Tame, who have a child who lives with his Grandmother, sought help for Tyson during his many hours of agony. His lifeless body was found in Deakin's wheely bin four days later.
Sean Deakin was sentenced to just 20 weeks in prison, having to serve only 10 weeks. He is banned from keeping dogs for only 10 years. Sarah Tame was given a 12 month community order including 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a £200 fine. She was banned from keeping any animals for 10 years. She was also deprived of another dog she owned, which has been in RSPCA care for over a year.
This is not a one off incident. Sadly, there are numerous cases this horrific happening all the time.
Abusive adopters can convincingly seem good homes when they respond to Free To Good Home ads, or any ads where checks are not made on them. Pets are also often passed on to abusive homes by the initial adopter of the pet (either not realising it is an abusive home, or not caring because they can make a profit out of it).
If there is no way you can continue to look after your pet, the responsible and safest option is to ask a reputable animal rescue to re-home it.
Below: A dog that was advertised "Free to good home" on Craigslist website, and has had terribly painful facial injuries inflicted upon it, including the loss of an eye. Sadly, this dog is just one of many that such things happen to after being advertised "free to good home" or for a low fee.
Bait animals, such as dogs, cats and rabbits are thrown in with dogs
that have been trained to fight by their owners, for them to practice
viciously ripping apart. The bait animals have their mouths tied shut
and usually their legs bound, so they cannot defend themselves. If they
do not die from the dogs attacking them, they are coldly and cruelly
discarded to suffer and die from their wounds, alone.
Dog fighters acquire bait animals by stealing family pets of any breed, picking up strays and responding to free To Good Home adverts, or adverts where pets are offered for a low price. They also use animals that did not want to fight. Any way they can get the animals for free, or little cost is preferable.
A lady who gave her Golden retriever away to a home she thought was a good, loving one, got a call 2 weeks later from the RSPCA. They had found her dog dead in a dog fighting establishment, tied up with its muzzle duck taped so it could not defend itself. It had been mauled to death by other dogs. The RSPCA had been able to contact the dogs previous owners because the microchip still held their details. This is not a rare occurrence, it is happening all the time.
See the Dog Fighting page for more details of this cruel activity.
Below: This is what can often happen to "free to good home" pets. This young dog fell in to the hands of dog fighters who encouraged their dogs to practice what they'd been trained on it, inflicting these painful injuries and breaking it's spirit. Dog fighters often dispose of bait dogs by letting them slowly die of their injuries, or by killing them in heartless ways.
Sadly, 'free to good home' kittens, cats, rabbits, puppies, small dogs and other animals are often sought out by sick people wishing to set their dogs on them. These people find it entertaining and amusing to watch a smaller animal being ripped apart by their dogs, who they have trained to do this. It is often done by people who take their dogs - often Lurchers - hunting for small animals. They take their dogs rabbiting and badger baiting and use these 'free to good home' pets as practice and training for their dogs.
Rodents advertised as free to good home, such as mice, hamsters, gerbils, rats, and other small animals commonly fall in to the hands of people who give them alive to their pet snakes to eat, or other pets that eat live food, as they get sick enjoyment out of watching it happen.
If a dog in a Free To Good Home advert is a pure breed bitch, she can be
sold to a puppy mill as a breeding dog. These are cruel places that are
not concerned with the welfare of their animals, only their profits.
The life of a breeding dog in a puppy mill is a miserable, lonely life. Their health and insides are ruined by being bred far more than is healthy. Veterinary treatment to treat them for that, and other ailments, is withheld, as it would cut in to profits. They receive virtually no human attention and when they become of no use to make money, they are either abandoned or killed inhumanely.
Their living conditions are commonly disgusting, as they are kept in filthy small cages with others, among faeces, urine which burns their skin and even the dead bodies of other dogs who have not been treated for illnesses and just left to suffer to death.
Puppies born at puppy mills are sold by pet shops and other unscrupulous sellers, such as online sellers. They have many health and behavioural problems throughout their lives, costing their owners a fortune in veterinary bills and a lot of heart break. Many die young. Buying these puppies is not saving them, sadly it is funding this cruelty and ensuring it continues.
For more information, see the Puppy Farms page.
Many people see a free pet simply as an opportunity to make money. It is
often the case that a pet will be acquired for free from a Free To Good
Home advert by someone convincingly playing the part of a good home for
the pet. The pet is then sold on for a profit to anyone who is willing
to pay, no matter how the pet will be treated.
Believe it or not, this includes animal experimentation / vivisection laboratories, where animals have a life of pain, suffering, loneliness. They either die a painful death because of experiments killing them, or they are killed when they are finished with. For details, see Animal Experimentation
Some people will take on a pet with their only intention being to make
money from breeding it selling it's young. They have no interest in
having it as a pet and are only interested in how it can make money for
them. These dogs are often kept outside, starved of affection and only
'bothered with' when they are of use in making money. When they no
longer make money for the person, the pet is often abandoned or killed.
If potential adopters ask if the pet is neutered and seem to lose interest if it is, it is likely they wanted it for this reason (if male, to "rent out" to make the puppies and if female, to bear the puppies).
The puppies are often sold indiscriminately, with no care put in to checking the homes or how the puppies will be treated. The only interest is in the money, which means the animals could easily end up in abusive and neglectful situations if these people offer the money asked for. As well as the pet being used to make money rather than being loved for itself, the breeding of it takes away homes from the millions of innocent, healthy, problem free pets of all ages that are abandoned every year, causing more of these loving animals to be put to death. The people who use them this way are nearly always disreputable breeders who cause both the animals and future owners heartbreak with their irresponsible methods. See the Bad Breeders page for details.
Already across the UK and US, around four million cats and dogs are put to death every year, simply because they are not adopted. These are dogs and cats that their owners bought as puppies and kittens, then later abandoned, or tried to pass them on to somebody else who subsequently abandoned them.
Animals advertised free to good home or for a low cost can fall in to the hands of people who produce animal crush videos. These videos generally feature, but do not limit themselves to, small live animals, such as kittens, puppies, mice and rabbits being slowly tortured in the most horrific and painful ways imaginable.
They are burned alive, cut with pruning sheers, nailed to the floor, skinned alive, beaten, stabbed and most often, they have their limbs crushed and broken - whatever will cause them to scream with agony the most for the longest time.
In the majority of these videos, the animals are crushed by scantily clad women in high heels. The sick and twisted individuals who purchase these videos, or pay to view them online, do so for sexual gratification, and the industry is growing in popularity throughout the world.
These people often do not stop at animals and can escalate to sexual violence towards children and other humans.
To make sure your pet is much less likely to fall in to the wrong hands and suffer such abuse, there are measures you can take. Click HERE to find out what you can do. To save other pets, you can warn other people of the dangers by directing them to these pages, especially by contacting them if you see them advertising their pets for re-homing.
An excellent site for safely re-homing pets so they don't fall in to the wring hands is Dogs2Home (Opens New Window).
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