Finding a free puppy available for adoption might sound great, but free isn't always free. If you're still searching for -- or thinking of rehoming -- a free pet, taking some precautions and understanding the dangers can go a long way to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible for everybody.
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Where to Look
Finding free puppies for adoption can be tricky, but options are available if you know where to look. A good place to start is announcements on social networking and "free to good home" ads online or in your local newspapers. You can ask local shelters if they have free adoption days. This option is often best, since shelter puppies often come spayed or neutered, with their first round of vaccinations in place and possibly even with a microchip.
Dangers of Free Adoptions
Free puppies usually are unwanted puppies born to mixed parents. In most cases, the person or organization giving away the puppy will have little to no information on the puppy's breeding, health or parentage. This is true of puppies who come from backyard breeders as well. Keep in mind that free can become expensive if the puppy has health issues or genetic defects from inbreeding or issues arising from malnutrition or lack of adequate care during pregnancy.
Free to a Bad Home
If you have puppies you are trying to rehome, giving them away for free might not be the best idea. According to The Dogington Post, more than 4 million dogs end up in shelters every year. Many of these dogs are the result of irresponsible breeding or irresponsible owners who decide owning an animal is too much work or too inconvenient. If somebody is not willing to pay a small fee to adopt a puppy, chances are they will not be willing to cover the expenses of caring for a sick animal. Many pups taken from free ads also end up being resold to lab facilities for experimentation or used in dogfighting rings.
Picking the Right Puppy
If you're thinking of adopting, or giving away a free puppy, it makes sense to ask some questions. If you're adopting, ask about the medical history of the puppy and his parents, whether he's already been to the vet and if he has received any vaccines. Ask potential adopters if they raised dogs before. If possible, ask for permission to check the person's home.