NEVER advertise 'free to a good home' !

Selling your pet on-line is extremely dangerous! Animal abusers use the internet to seek animals by misrepresenting themselves as a good home to gain the animal cheaply or even for free and be untraceable. The examples below are also reasons why you should never leave your animal unattended, either at home, in front of a store or in an unlocked car (see our "Pets in Vehicles" section for more on the latter).

For example:

  • Dog fighting rings seek unwanted pets to use as bait dogs - duct taping their muzzles and then throwing them into the ring to “train” their fighting dogs. Learn more in our "Dog Fighting" section;

  • Unethical exotic snake owners will seek free live kittens to feed their snakes;


  • Dog Bunchers and Dealer/Brokers gather animals to fill orders for lab research and puppy mills, using "free to good home" ads and even stealing companion animals - more info on bunchers here:  


  • And of course there are the cruel people out there who just want an animal to abuse.  



Kijiji, Craigslist and EBay are popular sites for these people to find animals.  They are very good at pretending they are a nice person looking for a new pet for their family. Animal advocates have been trying to get these sites to change their policy

on advertising live animals.  Please take a moment to SIGN THESE PETITIONS

to help change on-line pet advertising policies.

NEVER advertise 'free to a good home' !


Buying pets online is not a good idea either.   Many people who do so often wind up buying a sick animal that can end up costing them expensive veterinary bills. Usually the seller will refuse to take the animal back and refund the price and many purchasers find themselves unable to consider returning the animal anyway, knowing its going back to someone unethical, worrying about the pet's safety if they do so. 

Problems often encountered by buying on-line include:

  • sickness/injuries

  • parasites (many on-line puppies/kittens have never been dewormed)

  • poor genetics

  • some of the animals for sale on-line can actually be stolen pets.

Click here to check out the latest news article about a recent sick pet purchased on Kijiji and consider signing the latest petition link provided in this article.

Your animal is much safer being rehomed through an animal rescue organization.  There are numerous rescues in Ontario - some are breed-specific and some help all breeds and mixes. To find an animal through rescue organizations, go to our Links page for a few local rescues that Dog Speed recommends or search on either of the following two websites (note that Adoptico is for Ontario rescues and shelters only, Pet Finder covers all of North America):


Note: Pet Finder was recently purchased by Kijiji and, as a result, the adoptable animals posted by rescues and shelters on the Pet Finder site now automatically also show on the Kijiji site.  Dog Speed is not comfortable with this, especially since we have been advocating for Kijiji to change their live pet advertising policies. However, we decided to temporarily continue to use Pet Finder (which is a good site) at this time because anyone who responds from the Kijiji side will still be required to go through our rigorous adoption protocols.  We also hope Kijiji, through its exposure to rescue organizations in this manner, may eventually relent and change their policy regarding advertising pets by the general public (since most people selling pets on-line do not realize the dangers nor do reference & home checks, contracts, etc.).

Your local animal shelter is also safer for your pet instead of advertising your pet.  Some shelters even work with animal rescue groups to help rehome pets.  But do some research first, as all shelters are not equal, even if they are all SPCA's or humane societies.  Some are "no kill", others will euthanize when the shelter becomes full, in order to make room for newer dogs/cats, and others will automatically euthanize after a set number of days from arrival (some as little as three days).  


Abusers are not as likely to pursue an animal through a rescue that has a fee, detailed adoption process, contract and follow-up visits.  


Spread the word NOT to advertise or buy pets on-line. 

Buying and selling pets online is a bad idea for so many reasons . Instead consider rescuing an animal from a shelter or REPUTABLE animal rescue organization. 

How do you know if the "rescue" really is a reputable animal rescue organization?

How to Make Sure an Animal Rescue Organization Isn’t Fake


There are steps you can take and warning signs to watch for to ensure you’re adopting a pet from a legitimate animal rescue organization:


  • Many rescues are actually registered not-for-profit charitable organizations and will have a registered charity number in Canada, and in the U.S. will be a registered 501 (c).  As such, they have mandates they must adhere to in order to maintain their legal charitable status.  

  • Be wary of rescue organizations that will only communicate with you online.

  • Rescue organizations will always want to visit your home for an inspection and do reference checks.

  • Be cautious of organizations that ask to meet you only in a parking lot or other public place.

  • Legitimate rescue organizations won’t adopt out puppies or kittens younger than 8 weeks old.

  • Always request to see veterinary records for the pet you want to adopt. Make sure the pet is current on vaccinations and has been examined by a licensed veterinarian. Also make sure the paperwork matches the pet you are adopting.

  • Consider adopting from a local animal shelter or humane society, which are required to provide medical attention and veterinary care for their animals.

 Click here to see a recent case of someone alleging to be a rescue selling dogs on-line.

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