Actually, it's not so great, it's an unfortunate fall-out of the "let's get a puppy/kitten/cute furry creature for Christmas purge" and, we're not fans of this at all. While rescues and shelters brace themselves for the post Holidays spike of incoming unwanted animals, our team of rescuers would:
- Like to encourage families to try a little bit harder with their pet before deciding to give up,
- Hope that a decision is made in consideration of the best interest of the animal and,
- Encourage people to seriously think about their ability to bring a pet into their home in future if they are now or have ever in the past rehomed or otherwise given away or dumped an animal.
Free to a Good Home
If you are facing a life change or have come to a point where you are no longer able to care for the pets in your home, it may be tempting to use a free ad service to aid with the rehoming. While the best intentions may be behind rehoming and it could be assumed that charging no adoption fee will place the animal faster, there are some major drawbacks to turning family pets into free giveaways.
As good people, it may not enter our minds that there are some very desparate situations a "free to a good home" pet may find themselves in. In rescue, we are completely understanding that there may not be other options than to rehome but, we have seen the end results of free giveaways one too many times.
Obviously there are some good people looking for a family pet but how do you ultimately decide who is good and who may be a risk? With the high use of social media and free ad websites being used to rehome, our Pack would like to share some rehome strategies and discuss some of the worst case scenarios of giving away your family pet to a random stranger who answered an ad.
There are some people who review ads for "free" pets for the sole purpose of making money from them. Examples of how a giveaway animal can be traded for monetary gain or simply as abuse targets are as follows:
- Dog fighting rings (bait dogs - graphic images please be warned)
- Hunting practice
- Used for live food
- Sold to puppy mill owners or kept for breeding purposes
- Sold to animal testing labs
- Used in animal crush videos
In a rehoming situation, end results such as the ones listed above would not normally cross a person's' mind. Most of us would never even dream that companion animals would end up as abuse targets or worse. When rehoming, the vast majority of pet owners are devastated to be parting with their pet and do want the best possible home available for the animal they can no longer care for.
There are steps that can be taken to ensure that an animal is placed into caring homes:
- Start with friends and family, ask around your inner circle first
- Charge an adoption fee upwards of $100
- Screen candidates, use an adoption application form (feel free to use ours as an example)
- Research local no kill shelters and/or rescues
Since rehoming should be considered a last resort, it would be great if research could be done to manage any behavioral issues or lifestyle conflicts that are driving the decision to rehome a family member. There is endless information available to assist with training and behavior management so before taking that final step to rehoming, why not explore all options?