With free online trading websites and low cost newspaper classifieds available, many people looking to re-home their pet will often use these options to advertise their pet as “Free To Good Home”. Some may even ask for a small amount of money hoping that this will entice only good caring pet owners.
With any luck ‘their pet went to a good caring home’.
However, the more often sad story is that even if your pet starts off in a good caring home, there is no guarantee that they will continue to remain so. Once that person takes your pet you have lost any control over what happens to them immediately or in the future. How many hands will you pet pass through? How well will they will be cared for?
Even more disturbing is the heavily increasing number of unscrupulous people trawling through online sites & newspaper classifieds posing as “caring” people or families offering a wonderful home for your pet. While in reality they are planning to use your pet for their own cruel financial or entertainments benefit.
It is hard to believe that this syndicate goes on, but it does and many pet owners are either unaware or would even prefer to believe “My pet went to a good home” and “The family was really nice”.
Below are just a few of the more commonly discovered fates of many pets acquired through “Free To Good Home” or “Cheap Priced Pet” classified ads:
- Unknowingly Sold Directly To Cruel Puppy Mills or Backyard Breeders
- On Sold To Cruel Puppy Mills/Farm or Backyard Breeders
- Abusive Home
- Used For Hunting Practice
- Used For Dog Fighting
- Used As Bait Animals For Dog Fights
- Sold On For A Profit (some even to animal testing labs)
- Used In Animal Crush Videos
- Snake Food
- Fish Bait
Please do not surrender your pet to the pound. Pets that are surrendered to the pound have no statutory holding period? This means can are are often usually placed on the next kill list.
If you have no other option then to re-home your pet, then you can minimise the risk of these terrible things happening to your pet by contacting a reputable Shelter or Rescue Group for assistance. Pet Rescue Australia has a country wide listing.
We know that not all people will take this advice and may try to re-home their pet themselves. When doing this, there are few simple yet important steps to consider so that you too can minimise your pets risk of a poor re-homing experience:
1. Never offer your pet for free. Always charge an adoption fee and always state this in your advertisement.
2. Screen extensively anyone that express interest. Ask lots of questions such as; why are they interested in your pet, have they owned this breed before, what pets have they owned previously or currently own, what will be the pets living arrangements and intended home environment etc.
3. Ask for their veterinarian’s contact details. Call the vet for a verbal reference of the potential new owner.
4. If the applicant is renting, ask for the Real Estate’s contact number. Call the Real Estate and confirm that the applicant is in fact permitted a permanent pet on the property in the Tenancy Agreement. If they are permitted, also check if they adopt your pet will they be exceeding the number allowed.
4. Meet with the entire family, including children and any current pets. This is especially important where there is already an existing dog. Meet and greets work best in neutral locations, such as a park.
5. Have your pet desexed prior to adoption. This is especially critical to deter Puppy Mill and Backyard Breeder applicants. Because you are charging an adoption fee this will at least cover your costs for the desexing.
6. Provide an “Adoption Letter”. If possible provide a letter stating that the new owner agrees to return the pet to you if things do not work out. Ensure that it contains current contact details for yourself and the new owner along with dual signatures. Provide them a copy and keep the original for yourself.
Most genuine applicants looking to adopt should expect the owner to be picky with whom their pet goes to. In which case, they should be more than happy to answer all of your questions and supply the relevant information you need to feel more confident that you have selected the right person/family. It truly is the very least you can do for your pet.
Author Bio: Nikki is pack leader at Pressplay Pets, a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting. She is also proud mum to cute and cheeky Papillons ‘Amber’ and ‘Indy’ and one crazy Rainbow Lorikeet named ‘Ralph’! Follow my Facebook and Twitter.
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