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…

Latest Comments
  1. greendogdemo 12/02/2014
  2. jamie 10/01/2014
    • Brian 12/11/2014
  3. NOVA 09/21/2014
  4. mainporntube.com 09/20/2014
  5. Lucy oliver 09/16/2014
  6. Ben Wong 09/13/2014
  7. Mr. Kimberley 09/13/2014
  8. Http://Icivil.Ir/ 09/09/2014
  9. Mrs Rachael Morgan 09/08/2014
    • Mike 09/11/2014
  10. Dogi 09/06/2014
    • dre 12/10/2014
  11. Servidor de Correo 08/11/2014
  12. Lucas Patrice 08/03/2014
  13. Sherman Kimberley 07/06/2014
  14. Cat Breeds 07/05/2014
  15. margie 07/02/2014
  16. Christina Berry 06/19/2014
  17. Lynn 06/18/2014
  18. Devan 06/13/2014
    • Luka 06/14/2014
    • Christina Berry 06/19/2014
      • Vickie 08/22/2014
    • albeez34 06/28/2014
  19. Dave Hatley 06/12/2014
  20. G Leguizamon 06/12/2014
    • Angela White 07/16/2014
      • Peter 08/21/2014
        • april 09/20/2014
  21. Ernesto Shaw 06/02/2014
  22. Danielle 05/20/2014
    • jason 05/24/2014
      • Jen 05/26/2014
        • Jen 05/26/2014
      • KBlack 06/13/2014
        • Brian 12/11/2014
      • JD Roberts 06/14/2014
    • KBlack 06/13/2014
  23. Mrs. Lee 05/20/2014
    • KBlack 06/13/2014
      • Brian 12/11/2014
    • Christina Berry 06/19/2014
  24. Willard 05/17/2014
  25. Lindsay 04/22/2014
  26. heather 04/21/2014
    • Jen 05/26/2014
      • John 07/06/2014
  27. EVE 04/09/2014
  28. Ron 03/19/2014
    • Amber Garrison 04/06/2014
      • jonesy 04/18/2014
    • Karen Genosa 04/18/2014
    • jonesy 04/18/2014
    • Penny Reames 05/04/2014
    • KBlack 06/13/2014
  29. Crystal 02/14/2014
    • adrian 04/18/2014
  30. Diane Lucki Donkersloot 01/22/2014
    • stacey 04/18/2014
  31. Kim 01/19/2014
    • Suzan Black 06/20/2014
  32. Aunt Jane 01/19/2014
  33. Debbie Daniel 01/18/2014
  34. barbara 01/17/2014
    • Penny Reames 05/04/2014
      • Deb 05/20/2014
        • Jen 05/26/2014
  35. Amanda 01/17/2014
  36. George Williams 01/17/2014
    • heather 04/21/2014
      • Penny Reames 05/04/2014
        • annoyed with penny 06/14/2014
  37. Eloise Bright 01/16/2014
  38. Victoria 01/16/2014
  39. ruth 01/16/2014
  40. EC 01/16/2014
    • jonesy 04/18/2014
    • Penny Reames 05/04/2014
    • Peter 08/21/2014
  41. S Buck 01/15/2014
  42. Reva 01/15/2014
  43. Nicky P 01/15/2014
  44. Stan Modjesky 01/15/2014
  45. Jody Killam 01/15/2014
  46. cl pva 12/16/2013
  47. http://meemi.com 10/30/2013
  48. cenajone 10/05/2013
  49. Cheryl 10/05/2013
  50. w tustin 10/05/2013
  51. Janet Kuhn Francis 10/04/2013
  52. sonianaaz3 10/03/2013
  53. oksunny 10/02/2013
  54. Kimberly Thomas 10/02/2013
  55. TRISH 10/01/2013
  56. Deborah 10/01/2013
    • holly 12/15/2013
  57. K. M. Johnston 10/01/2013
  58. Mishigoss 10/01/2013
  59. anyone 10/01/2013
  60. Pam 10/01/2013
  61. Alan 10/01/2013
    • K. M. Johnston 10/01/2013
    • Pershopper 10/02/2013
    • Jen 05/26/2014
  62. pissedoff 09/30/2013
    • BonfromOklahoma 04/19/2014
  63. Candy R 09/30/2013
  64. Nancy 09/30/2013
    • Pershopper 10/02/2013
  65. Katie 09/08/2013
  66. Katie 09/08/2013
  67. Ichimura Mei 08/07/2013
  68. Ashley 07/26/2013
  69. Beth 07/20/2013
    • holly 12/15/2013
  70. Mary Martin 07/11/2013
  71. Meg Stutts 06/24/2013
  72. Elizabeth D 06/23/2013
  73. martha 06/23/2013
  74. kate 06/21/2013
    • holly 12/15/2013
  75. Jennifer Padilla 06/19/2013
  76. Trisha 06/18/2013
  77. Amanda 06/17/2013
    • Robin Lindemann 01/15/2014
  78. Marie 05/30/2013
    • liz 07/10/2013
  79. Brawny71 05/30/2013
  80. Rhonda Butler 05/29/2013
  81. Nadine 05/29/2013
  82. eve engel 05/29/2013
  83. Julio Marie 05/29/2013
  84. Bernadette Bailey 05/29/2013
    • Robin Lindemann 01/15/2014
      • Robin Lindemann 01/15/2014
    • Nancy 01/16/2014
      • Nancy 01/16/2014
  85. Trish 05/29/2013
  86. Cassandra 05/29/2013
    • Melissa 05/29/2013
  87. P Baxter 04/23/2013
  88. JoAnn 04/22/2013
  89. Lori 04/18/2013
  90. john 04/09/2013
  91. CJ 03/08/2013
  92. Linda Matheny 02/22/2013
  93. Forget-Me-Not 02/16/2013
  94. Vince 02/13/2013
    • Tim 02/14/2013
      • snowangel 05/30/2013
        • Cheryl 10/02/2013
    • Lori 04/18/2013
  95. Bob C 02/13/2013
    • Andrea 03/08/2013
  96. Rachel Chappell 02/11/2013
  97. meerkat 02/10/2013
  98. Patty 02/09/2013
  99. Jill Smith 02/09/2013
  100. Holly 02/08/2013
    • Brandy Arnold 02/08/2013
      • Robert 02/20/2013
  101. JEFF 02/08/2013
    • Christina Berry 04/19/2013
      • Melissa 04/20/2013
      • R M 05/30/2013
      • liz 07/10/2013
        • Debbie 10/11/2013
          • Wendy 01/16/2014
        • Robin Lindemann 01/15/2014
          • auraxoxo 01/15/2014
    • NYDogWhisperer 05/29/2013
      • holly 12/15/2013
    • Sheila 05/29/2013
      • Katie 09/08/2013
      • holly 12/15/2013
    • Brandy Arnold 06/23/2013
    • Sandra 09/30/2013
    • Pamela Davin 10/01/2013
  102. Jill 02/08/2013
    • Becky 04/22/2013
      • Cheryl 10/02/2013
        • Nicole 10/19/2013
          • Laura 01/15/2014
      • holly 12/15/2013
        • Robin Lindemann 01/15/2014
    • Mat 04/24/2013
      • Chuck 05/04/2013
        • NYDogWhisperer 05/29/2013
          • chas 01/29/2014
        • Candace 05/29/2013
          • Kmonty 06/19/2013
          • Aunt Jane 01/18/2014
        • Kmonty 06/19/2013
          • Gina Meyer 09/30/2013
          • Barb 10/01/2013
          • Cheryl 10/02/2013
          • Laurel 01/16/2014
        • denise g 10/01/2013
        • Lori 01/15/2014
      • carol 05/29/2013
      • steve 05/31/2013
        • Kimmi 07/09/2013
          • Cheryl 01/15/2014
        • Aunt Jane 01/18/2014
      • Barbara Schmick 06/19/2013
        • Susan 10/05/2013
          • Susan Horsefield-McInnis 10/05/2013
      • Kailyn 06/23/2013
        • Elka 09/30/2013
          • wanda 01/15/2014
        • petlover1970 02/25/2014
      • Eve 09/27/2013
      • Elka 09/30/2013
      • holly 12/15/2013
        • Lynette 01/16/2014
          • Shari 01/16/2014
        • Aunt Jane 01/18/2014
        • Pam 01/24/2014
      • Lori 01/16/2014
    • NYDogWhisperer 05/29/2013
      • holly 12/15/2013
    • nikki 07/20/2013
      • LeAnn 10/01/2013
        • Lisa 10/02/2013
          • robin 10/05/2013
          • laura 01/15/2014
        • Cheryl 10/02/2013
          • Cheryl 10/02/2013
        • Aunt Jane 01/18/2014
      • holly 12/15/2013
    • tina 09/30/2013
    • Robin Lindemann 01/15/2014
    • Dana 03/09/2014
  103. Kayla 04/22/2014
  104. grace blessing 04/26/2014
  105. Penny Reames 05/04/2014
  106. Christina Berry 06/19/2014
  107. Penny Reames 05/04/2014
  108. Jack 05/04/2014
  109. Dis Appointed 05/26/2014
  110. Jen 05/26/2014
  111. Lisa 07/03/2014
  112. Suzy Nelson 06/12/2014
  113. KBlack 06/13/2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us    DMCA Notice    Curation Policy    Privacy Policy    Terms Of Use    Media Kit   Subscribe via RSS
×

Join the Dogington Post Mailing List. Get up-to-the-minute recall alerts plus tips, tricks and special deals! Click here.