All Pets Have Value, 

All Pets’ Lives Matter,

Keep Them Safe,

They are Counting On You



Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.


How can you keep your pets safe if you must find them a home?

Let’s find out.

FREE pets are advertised in the newspaper, on Craigslist, on Facebook and various places online.  People are hoping to find good safe loving homes for their pets but is a free pet really going to a loving home?

When I worked at the Humane Society, we always told people to never give a pet for FREE.  People who are willing to pay for an animal are generally willing to take good care of them.

There is always the exception to the rule, however, in most cases, placing a cost value on a pet makes it more likely that a person will think before buying/adopting that pet.  In many situations, if they must get rid of the pet,  they may think twice because of the money spent already for that pet.  Where as a free pet, already has no cost value, so if the person has no emotional attachment to the pet, they also do not have a money value on the pet.  Making it easier to get rid of.

When you advertise a Free pet, sometimes people will grab the pet before someone else does without putting much thought into their living situation, cost in medical care, cost in food, time involved in caring for the pet (scooping litter, taking for a walk in all kinds of weather, picking up dog waste, and more).  Many times people do not know what to ask when getting a pet or what to ask when re-homing a pet (click on both for lots of ideas and suggestions). Many times free pets may not be up to date on vaccines or healthy.

There are many stories of free pets who were found to be very ill after someone took them.  Those free pets cost hundreds and in a few cases thousands in just the first few months.

What other things do Free pets have to worry about?  The people who make a living or a hobby acquiring free pets.  These people are VERY good at what they do to convince you your pet is going to the best home.  They look like wonderful people.  People who could be your neighbor.  They may even let you do a home visit.  They may bring their children.  As your pet leaves, you will believe that they are going to a great home.

They are that convincing.  

So here are a few kinds of BAD people who are looking for YOUR Free pets.

They are looking in newspapers, craigslist,  facebook and online –


BEWARE OF THESE PEOPLE, they all exist in New Hampshire.  

REMEMBER, they are good at what they do –

  • Pet Flipper
    • They look for FREE pets and turn around and sell them to anyone who will buy them for a profit
  • Cultists – 
    • they are looking for FREE pets to use in animal sacrifices
  • Animal Abuser 
    • they take FREE pets because they like to kill them (or worse, torture) or use them as target practice
  • Puppy/Kitten Mill  
    • Take FREE pets that look purebred and breed  in high quantity for money.  They look for pets not spayed/neutered
  • Dog Bait 
    • Take FREE pets and give them to their dogs to rip up because they find it fun or use pets to train dogs for fighting
  • Experiment Labs
    • people who make money finding animals to sell to labs for experimentation.  Many years ago in New England, unclaimed animals would go to labs.  Even today, some labs pay for test animals. Many do breed their own animals for this.
    • Did you know that the animals that are used in schools for biology are obtained by looking for FREE pets?  We are talking about classes that dissect cats or other pets.  The companies that sell to the schools buy from people who are paid per pound, so they need many. When I was appalled that Nashua High was requiring students to dissect cats that looked like everyone’s pet at home, I started doing research and this is what I found.
  • Fake Rescue
  • Animal Hoarder
    • Takes on FREE pets because they feel the pets need them,  Many times they love the pets but do not have the money to care and feed the numbers.  Pets end up living in filthy conditions and are not medically cared for.  This usually gets worse over time until authorities step in.
  • Pet Food
    • These people look for FREE pets to feed to snakes, lizards and other exotics.
  • Backyard Breeder
    • Want FREE pets to use for breeding to make money.  Many times they are looking for what looks like purebreds.  They often do not do vaccines, etc.  These people are on a much smaller scale than the above Mills.
  • Bestiality/Fetishists  –
    • Unfortunately it does exist in NH and people are working on making this illegal.  FREE animals used for many sexual reasons.

All of the above troll and search for FREE pets.  They are very good at their jobs and they will convince you that your FREE pet will be going to a loving home.

You say, but we will know if someone is trolling because they will be asking for lots of animals….WRONG!  They wil continually make new profiles in different names just so you do NOT know how many pets they are getting on Facebook.  On CL, they just answer the ads from different Unsuscepting people.

It was brought to my attention that a local purebred rescue would help to re-home your pet. You would keep your pet with you, they would be happy to help refer interested people to you for your pet in their referral program but the pet would need to be FREE, here is what they required –

Referral Program

Due to our limited resources at this time most of our work is done through referrals, matching people looking for dogs with people needing to place dogs.

Those who participate in this program do so with the understanding that we are unable to investigate either party. Once we send information about dogs to potential adopters it is up to you to contact the current owners, who will then interview you.

There is no fee (FREE) for any dog in the referral program, and all arrangements for transfer of ownership are between the current and new owners.


This is NOT a good thing for a rescue to require a pet to be FREE.  The owner must be VERY good at interviewing, do a vet check, do a home check, make an application and make an agreement.  I would still recommend doing all of that but by putting a re-homing fee on the pet, especially a purebred, most of the bad people mentioned above will be out of the picture.  By this rescue requiring the pet to be FREE and not taking any responsibility, they are not helping keep those pets safe.

So, does this mean that ALL people who are looking for FREE pets are bad – of course NOT.  But because the above bad people are so convincing, it is very hard for anyone to figure out who is good from who is bad.

So, what are some ways to keep your pets as safe as possible.  Unfortunately, there is no 100% guarantee –

Here are FOUR things that will help –

  • First place a price for re-homing your pet. 
    • Kittens and cats – 50 – 100+
    • Puppies and dogs – 100 – 200+
    • Purebreds, dogs, cats – 100 – 400+
    • Rabbits, Guinea pigs – 25 -100+
      • Purebreds may go for more
    • Birds – 50- 800+
      • Large exotic birds may go for any price
    • The above prices are suggestions.  these are for pets that have been checked by a veterinarian and found to be healthy, up to date on all vaccinations, free of parasites, dogs are heartworm free, and all that are old enough should be spayed/neutered.
    • Remember that this is for the safety of your pet to find a loving home.  This is not for making a big profit.  Many people do a bit of research.  Maybe you have registration papers, which if the pet is spayed/neutered, it is just a nice thing for the new owners to have but proof that your pet is a purebred with lineage. Some people base price on the cost of vet check, vaccines, etc.
  • Then, ask TONS of questions, vet check, home check.
  • Have them fill out an Application
  • Have them sign an agreement with you

If you do the above things, chances are the home will be okay.  Again, it is not a 100% guarantee.  If all of this gives you anxiety, I totally empathize with you.  Having the life of your pet in your hands is a daunting task.

The above list of licensed shelters and rescues can help.  We are very fortunate to have many amazing organizations helping pets in New Hampshire.  Go visit a few.  Ask them questions.  What are there policies?  Do they keep animals until they find homes?  Go on their website, read everything there. I would avoid any person or organization that want you to give your pet away for FREE.  It just puts pets in a possibly unsafe path.

Whatever your decision, to bring to a shelter or to find a home yourself, you  need to be happy with your decision.  Your Pet’s Life depends on what you decide and you need to live with it.

All of your hard work is worth it for your pet’s safety & happiness.

Thank you for caring so much.



About the Owner/Author

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

Click For a Complete List of all of our educational Blogs

Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on New Client to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

Contact us by phone at 603-888-8088


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