"FREE TO A GOOD HOME" isn't really "Free"

free signNewpapers, craigslist, and folks on the side of the road with a big cardboard box all advertising the same thing: Free to Good Home. But is "Free to a Good Home" really "Free"? There are many reasons why this is not such a good deal, both for the pets and for the prospective owners.


FIRST FROM THE PET'S POINT OF VIEW: Before you decide to give away your pets to any stranger, consider some of the people who are known to answer these ads: box of puppies

Giving any pet away is misguided. People tend not to value what they don't pay for. If you charge a nominal fee of $35-$45 or more for an animal, the new owner is more likely to take their commitment to the pet seriously. A free pet is a disposable pet! Paying a fee for a pet shows good faith on the part of the new owner and demonstrates their willingness to properly care for the animal. These animals may also be abandoned, neglected, abused, or handed over to animal control and euthanized.

NOW, AS A PROSPECTIVE PET OWNER: Why is "Free to good home" bad for YOU? First of all, people who would give so little concern to the future of the pets in their care probably also have very little concern for their health as well. It is very likely that the sweet baby you just took home has heartworm, parvo, distemper, feline HIV, feline Leukemia, etc. which could cost you many hundreds of dollars or more if your new best friend even survives the ordeal.

Secondly, your "free" pet has probably not had any of the basic veterinary services that we (and many other shelters) include in our adoption fee:


Adoption fee

$160-$175 dog/puppy
$50-$100 cat/kitten
Spay/Neuter - Dog/Puppy
$175 to $360**
Spay/Neuter - Cat/Kitten
$100 to $240**
Deworming (dog or cat)
Included, if necessary!
$15 to $25
Heartworm Test (dog)
Included if over 8 months old!
$28 to $45
Feline leukemia/FIV Test (cat)
$40 to $54
1st Rabies Vaccination (cat or dog)
Included if over 4 months old, while at shelter!
$16 to $21
1st month's Heartworm Preventative (dog)
Included, if necessary!
1st month's Flea/Tick Control (cat or dog)
Included, if necessary!
Initial Veterinary Exam (dog or cat)
$36 to $77
$160-$175 dog/puppy
$300 to $558***
$50-$100 cat/kitten
$222 to $432***

* The prices of services were determined by calling several veterinary practices in the Columbus area in 2011.
** This price varies based on spay or neuter, dog or cat, and size of pet.
***Totals were determined by adding the costs on the low end of the scale and then adding up the costs on the high end.

free kittens cartoon Keep in mind that these prices only reflect basic preventative veterinary care; it does not take into account treatment of illnesses that may be present. At Pets Without Parents, we will incur the medical expenses to treat the pet before he or she can be adopted.

So, now that you see how truly valuable the included products and services are, don't you agree that "Free Isn't Really Free?" Our adoption fee not only includes numerous services; it also includes peace of mind.