You see it everywhere, on craigslist and facebook yard sale groups, at flea markets and parking lots. Dogs, cats and various other animals free to a good home. The reasons vary; new baby, moving, no time, unexpected litter, but the danger is the same no matter what the cause. Posting any animal as free to a good home is putting that animal in very real danger.
Dog fighting is a thriving business in our society, and the need for dogs to be used as bait is never ending. These horrible people can make themselves seem quite respectable, even using their children to present a picture of a happy family looking for a pet. You cannot tell the difference between a dog fighter and a good person. Like most criminals, their livelihood depends on their ability to fool everyone else. Bait dogs are used to teach dogs to fight, which means they are literally thrown in with dogs who have been forced to learn to tear them to shreds to please their people. They will likely live through it the first few times, but in the end they will be killed after enduring months of torture.
Research facilities are another danger faced by pets being given away free. Research facilities will pay for animals to use for testing, which leads to many people trolling sites where free animals can be found in order to sell them to a facility. They will use the same tricks as dog fighters, pretending to give a dog a loving home, when in reality the dog goes directly to the nearest facility where it undergoes horrendous testing until it can no longer survive the torture and dies. Recently, Georgia Regents University was the subject of an undercover investigation by the Humane Society. Animals in the facility were being used for non-vital research and undergoing procedures that were unnecessary and cruel. The dogs were purchased from a broker, who obtained these animals from craigslist and social media ads. Loved family pets who were given away free to a "good" home!
As if these dangers weren't enough, there are also people trolling free animal postings in order to obtain living creatures to be used in satanic rituals. These animals are likely dead within 48 hours of being given away free, and suffer greatly before dying. People also use innocent animals to feed large reptiles. That litter of puppies or kittens you let your pet have will die terrified as they are eaten alive. Backyard breeders will also take animals found free. If you have never seen the horrors of a puppy mill, please educate yourself on this horrid practice. Dogs are kept in small cages and bred over and over again until they are too old, at which time they are dumped or killed. Many of these dogs never walk on grass or enjoy the sunshine.
If you must re-home your family pet, charge a small adoption fee, and thoroughly check out any potential adopters. Do a home visit to make sure it is an appropriate home and contact their veterinarian to ensure they properly care for current pets. Keep tabs on the animal after adoption, and insist on a contract stating that the pet will be returned to you if they are unable to care for it. Most importantly, spay or neuter your pet before re-homing to ensure that more unwanted pets are not produced.