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Lucernemines, PA 15754
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Last Updated:
9/18/2013 7:32 PM


You see them all the time.  Ads looking for prospective new owners for pets.  Good hearted pet owners who aren't looking for compensation, just a safe new place for their beloved pet.  The headline reads: Free to Good Home.

 Only, many times these owners are taken advantage of by anything BUT a good home.

Just some of the threats to free pets:

  • "Bunchers" that collect free or cheap pets to sell to laboratories.  Microchipping or tattooing your pets before giving them up can discourage this as labs generally won't accept pets with permanent ID.
  • Puppy mills and other indiscriminate breeders.  Neuter your pets prior to giving them away to ensure that they do not live a life of pain and suffering in crates or kennels as breeder dogs.
  • Dog fighters who use the dogs for bait or training.  Call references including vet references, VISIT THE HOME, have an adoption agreement and be sure to follow up on the adoption.  Call your local humane society prior to placing your pet for adoption and find out where and who to look out for in your area.  Dog fighting is a real problem.
  • Animal hoarders who collect free pets. Animal hoarders have a mental condition.  They are not aware that they are not providing proper care for their pets and often feel that they are "rescuing" the pets.  This can be prevented by again, doing a home visit, checking vet references for all the pets on the property if you feel there is a problem.
  • BAD or abusive pet owners.  Again, check references, call vet records, make sure you have an adoption agreement, check on the dog post adoption.

If you are rehoming your pet, please do not offer it as "free" to good home.  We do not suggest collecting a fee for yourself as this may be perceived as "selling."  Rather, we think it's a great idea to ask for a fee that you can donate to the shelter or charity of your choice! 

More info about free to good home pets:

Good info and real examples of what can happen to free pets:

Are you SURE that you cannot keep your pet?


PLEASE read on.  These are real-life examples of what can happen to a cat or dog obtained as free through a paper or on a classified website.


Official: 29 Dogs Killed, Woman Held Captive For Months

HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. -- A Hancock County man was arrested late Wednesday evening after, police said, he mutilated and killed 29 dogs and held a woman captive for several months.


Jeffrey Nally Jr., 19, is charged with 29 counts of animal cruelty, one count of domestic battery and one count of kidnapping.  Nally was taken into custody after a SWAT team converged on his home at 1855 Orchard Lane. The home is in the north end of the county, off Route 8. The female victim was also removed without incident, police said. She was a former girlfriend of the suspect that had voluntarily moved into the home in December but had since been the victim of physical and sexual abuse, police said.


Officials in Hancock County became aware of the situation Wednesday after the victim’s mother contacted the West Virginia State Police. The victim’s mother told an officer that Nally had stated that he would kill any officer that showed up to arrest him. The woman also told police that Nally threatened to kill the woman and himself.


Officials with the West Virginia State Police contacted the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office to assemble a SWAT team. The SWAT team was briefed on the matter and converged on the house around 9 p.m.


After taking the suspect into custody and obtaining a search warrant, police said they found 29 dead dogs on the property. Some had been recently killed, officers reported. Some of the carcasses were found buried in the yard of the home, others were wrapped in plastic.  Police believe Nally began killing the animals in January.


“Mutilated, skinned, anything you can imagine,” said Chief Deputy Todd Murray of the animals. “[Nally used] everything from a crossbow, to a drill, saws to hammers. There were several means he used to [mutilate and kill the dogs].” Murray added that it appeared the suspect used a different tool to kill each dog.


According to court documents, officers even found two dogs eyes in a mason jar.  "One dog had been shot several times. One dog had blunt force trauma to the head. One dog, we think, had its neck snapped," said Nicole Busick, Hancock County Dog Warden.  The dogs were killed inside of the home, according to Murray. Police believe that Nally got pleasure from making his victim watch as he tortured and killed the animals.

“After the dogs were killed, he would make her clean up,” Murray said.


Three dogs were also found alive at the home. Police said the female told them all three were also set to be killed. One of the dogs rescued from the home was a black lab puppy. It had siblings that were killed.  Nally used classified ads to locate and obtain the animals, often finding people to willingly drop off their pets thinking they had found a good home, police said.  Police reported that he had been given many of the animals for free and had paid a small amount for the others.


"I'd like to give people the benefit of the doubt that they didn't know what was going on," said Busick. Most of the animals killed were puppies.


Police also recovered several guns inside the home. Police said the guns were also purchased through classified listings. Nally was already under home confinement for having guns as a convicted criminal. Police said they pulled weapons from Nally's home back in June. In April 2010, he was convicted of domestic battery.


Nally now faces more charges including kidnapping, domestic battery and 29 counts of animal cruelty.


The three dogs recovered from the home were turned over to county officials. The three animals were all quickly adopted.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's the nightmare of pet lovers everywhere: Their beloved Fido or Whiskers gets lost, is scooped up by animal thieves, then sold to be dissected in a university research lab.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that every year middlemen known as "Class B" animal dealers round up about 18,000 dogs and cats through flea markets and free-to-good-home ads, and then sell them to laboratories and university research labs.

In the process, it says lost pets are rounded up, too.

Now that Congress has undergone a change in leadership, the animal advocacy group hopes lawmakers will make it illegal for "Class B" dealers to sell "random source" cats and dogs to research labs.

The proposed ban is dubbed "Buck's Bill" in honor of Buck, a black hound dog seized in 2003 in Oklahoma from a dealer. Buck, who had heartworm disease and other ailments, died of internal hemorrhaging months after his rescue, while in foster care.

Mary Hanley, the executive vice president of the National Association for Biomedical Research, said she sees no reason for the law change. There may have been past abuses, she said, but it's not the current reality. Labs are required to keep documentation on where their research animals came from.

"Research facilities take great care," Hanley said. "They don't want dogs that they don't know where they came from. They take great care so that they do know."

Pennsylvania Reps. Phil English and Mike Doyle disagree.

"Lost or stolen animals may be getting in the queue for experimentation" without their owners' knowledge despite laws designed to prevent that, said English, a Republican who sponsored a House bill with Doyle, a Democrat.

Under their bill, labs would still be able to obtain research animals from breeders, pet owners who donate them, or shelters as long as the animal in question is not a stray. The bill is still pending before both the House and Senate agriculture committees.

The Department of Agriculture estimates that there are about 10 to 20 Class B dealers that sell to labs -- far fewer than in the late 1970s and early 1980s when there were more than 1,000 such dealers.

The states with Class B dealers that provide animals to labs are Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, according to the Humane Society.

Doyle said the Department of Agriculture doesn't have the money to ensure that the dealers are complying with animal welfare laws. Undercover work by outside groups has found evidence of animals being mistreated by Class B animal dealers, he said.

Darby Holladay, a USDA spokesman, said he could not comment on pending investigations or legislation.

A House agriculture panel held a hearing on the subject of animal welfare last week, which Wayne Pacelle, the Humane Society's CEO, said was a good sign that the Democratic-controlled Congress may take legislation like this seriously. The committee's last serious look at animal welfare was in 2000, he said.

An estimated 90,000 dogs and cats are bought by research facilities and veterinary schools each year. The Humane Society estimates that 70 percent comes from breeders, 20 percent come from Class B dealers, and 10 percent come from pounds.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, sponsored the bill in the Senate.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

4 accused of staging dog's killing of kitten
They provoked, taped pit bull attack, police say
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Of Our Carlisle Bureau
NEWVILLE - The video contains no sound but depicts the bloody and
violent death of a small animal, according to police.

In the video, which police are using as evidence, a man using a
broomstick is shown knocking a frightened kitten from what appears to
be rafters in a basement of a home.

Another man holds a pit bull and tries to agitate the dog as a third
man watches the proceedings.

The Cumberland County District Attorney's office said the men, ages
25, 19 and 18, and a 15-year-old girl face felony animal cruelty
charges for videotaping a staged fight between the pit bull and
kitten that ends with the kitten's death.

Those charges, expected to be filed within a week, carry possible
prison terms and heavy fines.

The girl, a Big Spring High School student from West Pennsboro Twp.,
received the kitten from a Carlisle resident who was giving it away,
investigators said. They said the girl saw an advertisement for the
free kitten in a newspaper.

The girl, who state police said videotaped the incident, used a
digital camera to show still images of the attack taken from the
video to several classmates at the Cumberland Perry Area Vocational
Technical School in March, authorities said.

Police later found the video, which they said was filmed in February.
The teen was emotionless as she explained the events depicted on it,
they said.

"She was very matter-of-fact in describing the whole thing," said
Trooper Scott Leidigh. "The students who saw the images were
horrified by what they had seen."

William Sandstrom, an officer with the Humane Society of Harrisburg
Area Inc., called the three-minute video "an extreme act of cruelty,
for sheer sadistic pleasure."

State police said they were not releasing the names of the people
involved until they are charged.

"I would say all three men appear to be pretty entertained by what
was going on," Leidigh said.

Senior Assistant District Attorney John Dailey said the four could
each face a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals and a felony
charge of animal fighting.

The fighting charge carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years
and a $15,000 fine. A cruelty to animals charge in this case would be
a first-degree misdemeanor with a possible penalty of a $1,000 fine
and up to 2 years in prison, Dailey said.

Leidigh said the pit bull was not taken from its owner. Sandstrom
said he hopes to have the dog removed and placed in a new home.

"I don't see how any animal lover can say that's the type of
environment you want a dog in," he said.

Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School Administrative
Director Mary E. Rodman and Big Spring Superintendent Richard Fry
said they had no plans to discipline the girl because the incident
was not reported directly to teachers or administrators.

Rodman said the father of a girl who saw the tape reported the
incident to the Big Spring school district.

Fry said the girl would not be disciplined by Big Spring because the
images were not shown on school grounds.

JOE ELIAS: 249-2006 or

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