Nobody likes to think about being forced to make the decision to give up a beloved pet. But sometimes life throws unexpected twists at us and leaves us with few choices. If you find yourself in that situation, it might be tempting to believe that offering your pet “free to a good home” is the best option. In fact, if you peruse websites like Craigslist, you’ve probably seen lots of these types of ads. (As an aside, I don’t generally recommend rehoming or adopting a pet from sites such as Craigslist or Yahoo Classifieds.)
Is “free to a good home” really a good option for your pet though? The image below (embedded from a Facebook post) and the quote from a dog fighter that accompanies it is graphic and disturbing. At the same time though, it accurately depicts one of the best reasons to avoid this practice. Appearances can be deceiving and people are not always what they seem on first impression.
This may be an extreme situation but don’t believe that dog fighting is non-existent, even in your own community.
Dog fighting is found in rural, urban, and suburban areas and it’s organizers and spectators come from all walks of life, from the economically challenged to the extremely affluent. I think we’ve all learned from the Michael Vick case that some celebrities who are far from lacking in notoriety or in money are still attracted to the practice, for whatever reason. Even lawyers, doctors, teachers, and other professionals have been implicated in participating in dog fighting.
Besides the risk of your pet ending up a victim of dog fighting, there’s also the fact that, like it or not, we live in a materialistic society. For better or worse, things that are given for free are viewed as having little to no value and are also cared for as though they have little to no value. This, unfortunately, includes pets as well. Of course, that’s not always true and there are those that value life of any type, at any price. But do you really want to bet your pet’s welfare on whether the complete stranger to which you’ve chosen to give your pet is telling you the truth about this important subject?
There are other alternatives. Find a friend or relative, someone you do know and trust, that is willing to take in your pet. Work through a rescue that has an application process and screening procedures in place to rehome your pet. Whatever you elect, do your homework and make sure your pet really is going to a good home.