How to Find Free Pets

How to Find Free Pets

Anyone who has ever started looking around for an to add to the family knows that getting a new pet can be very expensive, and it seems almost impossible to find a free pet. Many breeders ask for several hundred dollars, even for the smallest dogs or cats. Golden Retrievers are usually $700 to $800, Maine Coon cats can cost up to $900 or $1000, and rare exotic animals run much higher.

However, considering all of the pets in the world who are currently homeless, and are living in animal shelters without a loving family, it seems unreasonable and nonsensical to spend hundreds of dollars for a pet when there are so many who need to be saved.

While there are a number of animal rescue organizations and pet shelters around the country, there is only one resource which you should always start with, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Healthy Pets Aren’t Always Free

Before we examine why it’s best to start with the ASPCA, which does charge some fees for adopting and rescuing pets, it’s important to note that it is possible to find a free pet, if you are careful and follow a few important guidelines.

Searching through the classified ads in the newspaper or online classified ads like PetsAds or, you can locate listings for free pets that people are giving away. It’s critical to understand that most free pet ads are from people who are giving away their pets for the following reasons:

  • They are moving to a place that doesn’t take pets.
  • They can no longer afford to have a pet.
  • They found a stray, but can’t keep it.

These are usually well-meaning people, but keep in mind that if they have a pet that they can no longer afford to keep, the pet may not be 100% healthy. If you do decide to take the classified ad route, just remember that most of the things that the fees pay for at the ASPCA, you will have to pay for anyway – including all shots, medical checkups and neutering.

It is perfectly okay to find free pets on your own, just remember that pets are never “free”. You will need to pay for the up-front (and continuing) health care for the rest of it’s life.

ASPCA and Pet Adoption

The ASPCA is a wonderful organization that helps to promote animal shelters and rescue organizations that take excellent care of animals across the country. At the ASPCA website, you can adopt and save homeless animals in the following ways:

Find a Shelter

By clicking on the “Find a Shelter” link, you are taken to a search page where you can search for local animal shelters by city and state. The ASPCA doesn’t technically endorse the shelters listed by this utility, but it provides the search function to animal lovers who need a resource to find local shelters.