Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

No Such Thing As a Free Pet

Every Saturday the local Walmart parking lot offers the same scene.  A misguided, though sometimes well meaning pet owner sits in the back of a pick-up truck. Inside the bed of the truck is a cardboard box with a sign “Free Puppies” or “Free Kittens”.  Little furry heads peer out of the box not knowing what their future holds.  Though the pet owner was negligent in not sterilizing the pet that produced the litter, giving away the litter compounds the problem of pet overpopulation in the county. The owner’s intent to find the offspring a good home often ends in a horrible tragedy for the puppy or kitten that someone takes home for “free”.  The following discussion was extracted from an article found at “petrescue.com” and explains why progressive cities have ordinances banning “free give a ways”.  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.  There is no such thing as a “free” pet.  By the time a cat or dog is checked out by a vet, including shots, worming, health testing, and spay/neuter, a “free” pet will easily cost in excess of $100.  If a person cannot afford to pay an adoption fee for a pet, how will they be able to afford the normal expenses of proper care? How will they ever afford vet bills when the pet gets sick? Hill County Paw Pals’ policy will be to have all adopted pets sterilized before adoption.  This will require a minimum adoption fee to cover the cost of sterilization.

What can happen to a pet that is given free to a casual and uncommitted owner?

1) Abandoned to the streets.  This is the most likely scenario that occurs when an uncommitted owner tires of a pet.  Street animals suffer every day of their short lives.  The end always comes painfully, either from violent trauma or from lingering disease.
2) Handed over to Animal Control and euthanized.  People who do not take their responsibilities seriously always take the easy way out!
3) Marginally Owned.  The pet will not be cared for properly and is often allowed to roam the streets to breed at will.
4) Abused.  The owner will not make the effort to properly train the animal.  Often this leads to inappropriate responses from the owner and abuse of the pet when it “misbehaves”
There are people who routinely obtain animals for profit by fraudulently obtaining dogs given away for free.  They are usually very persuasive and friendly.  They know all the “right” answers to your questions because they do this on a regular basis

What can happen to an animal if you let a con artist have it?

1) Used to “live train” fighting dogs.  The animal you expected to be a pet is used to bait a fighting dog and is literally torn to pieces.
2) Sold at Flea Markets or Auctions to anybody who happens along.  Most of the time these animals are neglected, kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions and often become sick and diseased.
3) Sold to a Class-B Dealer who then resells the animal to a research facility.  People who practice the despicable act of rounding up strays to sell them are referred to as “Bunchers”.  At the research facility, the animal may suffer abuse and most likely will be euthanized after they are finished with it.
4) Used for breeding stock in a “Puppy Mill”.  The living conditions in most of these establishments are deplorable.  Bitches have continuous litters, one after the other.
5) Used as live food or bait for exotics (snakes or alligators).
6) Sacrificed in cult rituals.  Some people find this hard to believe, but the FBI has many files documenting this kind of activity in our country.

Spay or neutering your pet is the key to pet overpopulation control.  Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have a litter of puppies or kittens to “get rid of”.  Contribute to the endeavors of Hill County Paw Pals to correct the tragic situation of pet overpopulation in our county by spay or neuter your pet(s).  For more information about low cost spay/neuter contact Kathy Moore at 582-9374.  For information about Paw Pals call 580-0679; email:   hcpawpals@yahoo.com; or write to Hill County Paw Pals, PO Box 1533, Hillsboro, Texas 76645. Submitted by Mike Hendricks 580-0679