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Think Before Advertising Pets for Free

Price is Right

If you are considering advertising any pets and animals for re-homing on Preloved it is recommended that you don’t advertise them as being free to new owners.

While you might consider that giving away an animal for free seems like a relatively quick and convenient method to find new owners who are prepared to re-home your pet, there are a few notes of caution that should be sounded.

Although numerous pets and animals have been successfully re-homed by owners who have advertised them as free, there are also occasional cases that highlight the potential problems that can be connected to free pets and animals.

Question of Cost

One question it is worthwhile asking yourself is: why would someone search on the Internet for a new pet that does not cost them anything to buy?

It could mean that if they cannot afford to pay for a pet they also may not have the necessary financial resources in place to give an animal all the proper care and attention they will require throughout their lifetime in their new home.

Where the Money Goes

Every owner knows that keeping an animal inevitably costs money and part of the responsibility of ownership is about making that long-term financial commitment to their new pet.

These costs can range from the day-to-day expense of buying food, to the occasional, and sometimes expensive, veterinary bills and medicines when the animal is unwell and in need of professional attention or treatment.

Not for Profit

There are also occasions when pets that have been advertised as free have been targeted by people who intend to use the animals for purposes that have little to do with being a much loved member of the family.

For example, there are some buyers who look out for animals advertised as free so that they can re-advertise them with a price in an attempt to make a quick profit. Stories have also surfaced in the media, particularly concerning dogs, where the animals are used to perform illegal ‘sporting’ activities by their new owners.

Remember, if you are considering selling an animal remember that they are not mere commodities to be exchanged, swapped or given away without consideration but, rather, living creatures that deserve respect and to have plenty of thought given to their future welfare, well-being and happiness.

Key Questions

So, make sure that you are happy and confident that the animal is going to owners with a home that is appropriate to meet their needs. You might arrange to make a home visit and here are some questions you might like to consider asking:

  • Do the new owners live in a flat or is their house located on a main road?
  • Does the property have a good-sized garden?
  • Do the new owners have very young children?
  • Do they work full-time?

Donating to Charities

If you are still determined not to accept any money for a pet or animal you are advertising, why not ask that the buyer makes a donation to one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities that work hard to improve the lives of thousands of animals each year and rely on voluntary contributions to continue their work.

Here are some UK animal welfare charities that you could consider:


Cats Protection

The Dogs Trust

The Blue Cross


Wood Green Animal Shelters

Justine Dench

Justine Dench

Creative Editor

Justine Dench is the creative editor for Preloved. Her key personal interests include sustainability, conservation and animal welfare. Justine also has interests in photography, music, gardening and home interiors.