When hearing “free stuff” on the Internet, what is the first site that comes to your mind? Bet it’s Craigslist. While Craigslist and other similar sites are convenient outlets to post job openings, an available apartment or even a free couch, what they are not so good for are “free to good home” postings in the free or pets section.
As stated on Craigslist in a warning by PETA, “As you may be aware, animals given away for free can, and unfortunately often do, meet gruesome fates.”
Given the anonymity of an online platform, it is difficult to verify if the person who volunteers to take in a “free pet,” is really worthy of animal copanionship. It’s important to note that even pets with low re-homing or adoption fees requests can still be put in danger.
This is not to say that every pet given away for free online will end up in one of the following horrifying situations; some do find genuinely loving homes! The point is that the majority of people will not stand for the exploitation of animals, which spans all around the animal kingdom, from domestic pets and farm animals to marine animals and wildlife, but a select few sadly subscribe to the belief than animals exist for our use and entertainment.
If you have not already, we encourage you to learn about some of the dangers animals could face as a listed “free to good home” pet.
Used as a Bait Dog
Cold hearted people will skim the Internet looking for free dogs, typically smaller breeds, to use as bait dogs to train their dog fighting dogs, or to train free dogs, like pit bulls, to become fighters. Dog fighting is animal abuse. Dogs used to fight are neglected, beaten and often starved to make fighting dogs more aggressive, bait dogs weaker and broken. Click here to learn more about dog fighting.
Smaller Animals Used as Snake Food
Free smaller animals like rats, gerbils, mice, hamsters, small kittens and bunnies have the potential to be given to someone who will feed them to pet snakes.
Become Lab Animals
There are groups called “Bunchers” that look through the classifieds for free dogs, cats and other animals to collect then sell these poor animals to laboratories for animal testing, research and experimentation.
End Up in Puppy Mills
In some instances when a free dog or cat is a purebred and unaltered, they could be forced to breed for a puppy mill breeder. He or she will then live in deplorable conditions, caged, malnourished, and completely unloved for the rest of their lives. Please click here to learn about the horrors of puppy mills.
To Make Money
In the “free to good home” pet world, a newer trend called pet flipping is when a heartless person takes free pets only to turn around and sell them for a profit to another party. Or, a person pretends to be caring and lies about running an animal shelter. They will agree to take your pet for a small fee from you, then give false promises to find loving families through their “animal shelter.”
End Up in the Home of a Hoarder
In an animal hoarding situation, a person has the uncontrollable impulse to need more and more animals — they are like collectors of sorts. Although a hoarder may be caring toward their many animals, hoarding conditions are often unsanitary, dangerous and unhealthy for both people an animals.
Cruelty for Fun
As much as we don’t want to believe it, there are disturbed people in the world who enjoy hurting helpless animals. These types of animal abusers will search for free animals on sites like Craigslist only to take pleasure in torturing and killing these animals. If you know of or see acts of animal cruelty, report it.
In an effort to prevent these sad situations from befalling any animal, PETA states on Craigslist,”Animal protection organizations all over the United States work diligently to educate people about the proper procedure for placing animals and frequently assist people in finding good homes for their animals. We routinely contact individuals who place “free to good home” advertisements to alert them to the potential perils for their animals and continuously receive appreciative calls from people who say they never knew these dangers existed.”
While there is a certain level of checks that protect animals being given away online, it is always best to be aware of the danger that exists and ensure you avoid bringing harm to animals in any way you can.
Image source: Lindsay Wilson/Flickr
mine have always been \’free\’..I don\’t believe dogs and cats should be \’sold\’ and a rehoming fee is \’selling\’..I\’ve had old dogs needing a last home, I\’ve had pups needign a foster, cats the same..I won\’t buy..and I\’m not a hoarder, I\’m not a breeder, a \’flipper\’ nor an animal abuser..maybe I am 1 in a million but I resent these type of campaigns.
You can reset them all you want to, they aren\’t about you or for you. And YOU aren\’t one in a million or there wouldn\’t be these campaigns.They are about and for the animals for their safety. Too many have died, been tortured, abused and maimed by people posing as those wanting to provide a nice home for these "free" pets. They aren\’t willing to pay for them or go to the breeders or pet shops or shelters where they will have to prove they can provide a proper placement/home because they CAN\’T/WON\’T so they depend on people to give them free animals to torture experiment on and kill.
you are putting an animal at risk offering it up for free. It\’s as simple as that. It is irresponsible and wreakless. READ about what can happen to these animals and wise up.
God bless you I feel the same way.I got my cat off of craigslist & am not an abuser or scammers there r still some decent animal loving people left!
animal abusers need to be put down!!!!!
Animal abusers need to be listed "free to abuse" on CL.
I think you should post this on CRAIG\’S LIST "PETS" LINK AS WELL AS "LOST & FOUND".
Many on who find pets assume that it would be a death sentence to take them to the local shelter so they try to find homes on CL…."free".
Whenever I see a "free to a good home posting on CL" I ALWAYS send an e-mail warning them of the dangers; most appreciate it, some tell me to mind my business.
Thank you concerned animal lovers! I have interviewed 1 st on a phone conversation & also ask for their vet phone # and a personal charecture reference on the interested person or people if in doubt or bad gut intutition than its a NO go situation !
I also adopted one of my cats from CL listed as free there r animal lovers whom cant afford a rehoming fee do to a finacial hardship but do want companionship of a loving pet !