Why “free to a good home” is not a good idea

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Meet Kingstone, an unneutered Pitbull cross recently rescued by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. Kingston was advertised online as a “free to a good home”.   The advert generated significant demand which spurred the owner to reconsider and rather sell Kingstone for R1500.  The SPCA was inundated with the number of complaints lodged and an inspector was dispatched to investigate.


Kingstone was found to be underweight and the owner was issued with three warnings. After successful mitigation, the owner agreed to surrender Kingston into the care of the SPCA. Kingstone is now safe.

Think twice…

Most pet owners will make every effort to keep their pet in the home, but sometimes circumstances make that impossible. “Free to a good home” might seem like a quick and easy solution, but this may condemn your pet to potential bleak future. 

Think twice before you give your pet to a stranger. It is human nature to want to see the best in our fellow man, however, the reality is that people seeking to ‘adopt’ a pet under the radar—via posters or online ads—may not have the animal’s best interests at heart. You need to understand the risks and realities of “free to a good home”, where more often than not those animals end up in an unintended situation, where they are:

  1. Given to someone that cannot afford to look after them and subjected to cruelty, including being chained, starved, beaten, etc. 
  2. Used for breeding and to make money
  3. Unknowingly placed in the home of an animal hoarder
  4. Used as a bait dog for dog fighting 

Owners remain responsible for ensuring the health and welfare of their pet throughout their lifespan, even in cases where they are no longer able to continue care for the animal.


The SPCA discourages the giving away of animals to an unknown person. Instead, consider rehoming the unwanted animal through a reputable animal shelter. The SPCA will never refuse admission to any stray or unwanted animal. 


Read more about “free to good homes”- here 


Please email inspmanager@spca-ct.co.za or call 0217004158/9 during office hours.

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