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28 April 1999 Issue
Free To Good Home

It has come to our attention that there is a website that has many of our
subscribers concerned. This website advocates perpetrating fraud on those
that advertise their pets in newspapers, by pretending to be a good home but
instead, taking those pets to be used as food. This website even puts a
religious slant on it by suggesting that not doing so is a waste of food offered
by God. The site also gives tips on preparation and cooking of both cats and
dogs. We at Animal Rights Online do not want to be part of promoting this
site, but we need to share this with our subscribers so they can be aware,
protect their pets, and protest the continuation of this site by contacting the
webmaster. This site has already been removed three times but we have no
doubt that it will pop up again. We can't show it to you, because at the
moment, it no longer exists. But it is also good to know that the complaints of
dedicated animal activists have caused its removal all three times. If it
appears again, we will let you know. However, the threat to our pets is still
there. Free to good home pets are also subject to other threats.

Sometimes life circumstances dictate that we locate a new home for our own
dog or cat friend or for a stray animal. We sincerely want and look for a
home that will benefit our friend. One tactic for finding a new home is to
advertise in the newspaper. The ad might read something like this:

Playful, friendly, two-year old beagle. Loves affection. Good with
children. Free to a good home. Call xxx-xxxx.

One woman placed a similar ad for her dog. The man who responded was
friendly, personable, and said that he'd take the dog to his country ranch.
The dog took to him immediately, so the woman gave the friendly stranger her
dog. He in exchange gave her the telephone number to his ranch, the dog's
new home. End of story? Unfortunately not.

When the woman called the telephone number the man had given her, the
line was always busy. She became suspicious and notified authorities. Four
months later, her dog and five others were turned over to animal regulation
authorities by a medical laboratory. The friendly, personable man had sold
the woman's dog to a kennel that in turn sold her to the laboratory. When the
laboratory learned that the kennel was involved in criminal actions, it turned
over to authorities six dogs it had purchased from the kennel.

Do you find this story shocking? It happens all the time, every day. The only
part of the story that is a bit extraordinary is the recovery of the dog. That's
not the usual ending. In addition to answering "free to good home" ads,
unscrupulous people also obtain dogs by answering "found" ads in papers
and posing as the dog's family.

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