Saturday, November 15, 2014

Why "Free To A Good Home" is a Bad Idea

Because of people who I will refer to as 'Animal Harvesters' we all have to be more careful who we give our free puppies, kittens and even hamsters to. These Animal Harvesters look for free animals so they can sell them for a profit. Most of these animals will be given to Research Facilities, Puppy Mills for breeding purposes, or may end up as bait in dog fighting rings, while smaller animals like rats, hamsters and gerbils could be used as food for pet snakes.

How to Keep Animals Away From Pet Harvesters
If you want to make sure that your pet is really going to a good home, list an adoption fee. If the prospective pet owner has no problem paying an adoption fee, this can prove they actually want the pet and are responsible.

Another way is to ask to see the home where your pet will be housed and ask to see the interaction between the pet and everyone who will be living in the household. Pet Harvesters do not like to wait, they want quick results and aren't likely to go through this in order to get the pet.

What To Do If You Find A Stray Animal
While most people will call the Humane Society, or the local animal shelter to pick the stray animal up, in some instances people will keep the animal and try to find the owners themselves. Pet Harvesters also prey on these people because they think it will be easy to say they are the owner and come to claim the animal.

If you find a stray animal, do not put your address in the flier or ad. Post your phone number and a brief description of the animal but be sure to keep some information to yourself that only the owner would know and only tell the would be owner your address if they get all of the descriptions right.

Responsible owners will find people they are sure will take care of their pets that they can't take with them when they move, new litters or stray animals they find and want to re-home. One of the simplest things you can do is to ask the potential new owner to fill out an application with just a few basic informational questions, like address where the animal will be living, a phone number where they can be reached and what the name of their veterinarian is. Most animal lovers will gladly give you this information when they see you just want to make sure your animal is going to a good home.

We all want to believe that those searching for animals are doing so because they want to give a deserving animal a good forever home, sadly that is not always the case.


  1. One thing I always do when finding a home for a pet is to ask for vet references (or even friend references--you'd be amazed at what they'll tell you).

  2. Animals are an issue that's near and dear to my heart because they have no voice, so they need good citizens to stand up for them, and step in when necessary. It's important to know the differences between people that genuinely want to help, and those who are in it for financial gain or cruelty. Research is key.

  3. I never thought about that before. This is pretty eye-opening.

  4. Knew they try and make a profit. Dirty sobs is what they are.

  5. Good grief. People really do this? Thank goodness I've never heard of this type of thing down here in NZ. You give great advice, Mary, as usual.

  6. people can be evil

  7. One thing I would like to add is that you can request potential adopters to let you visit the pet once in a while. If they readily agree, it makes the chances of them being harvesters less.

  8. Anna- That's a good idea too.

    TesWisGirl- Yes, it is.

    Carmel- Yes it really is.

    Stephanie- I didn't know either.

    Pat- They really are.

    Shelley- It's awful, it really is.

    Adam- They really can be.

    KK- That's another good tip.

  9. I would be the naive one if someone came to me after I found an animal b/c I wouldn't have even thought to question that they were the owner just being so excited that someone came forward. Good to know! Thanks Mary!


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