There are many places to find pets other than a pet store. Adopting pets from shelters is always a wonderful option that could save the life of an animal that may otherwise have to be put to sleep. A couple of other great places to find pets are Freecycle and Craigslist. Many people list pets for adoption on these two sites for various reasons, trying to find good, loving homes for the animals they can no longer keep.
Freecycle is set up as a network consisting of groups for different cities and countries. If you do not belong to a Freecycle group, you can simply look up Freecycle and then look for a group in your city or in a city close to you. You can even request that a Freecycle group be started for your city if there isn’t one yet. Once you belong to a group, you will start receiving emails of the items or pets that are being offered. Often, you can belong to several groups close to where you live.
Each Freecycle group is a “community” of people trying to “recycle” things they no longer need or use to other people so these items won’t end up in our landfills. In the case of pets, animals are “recycled” to new homes so they won’t end up in shelters. Pets on Freecycle are just like the site name sounds, free.
If you see a posting from your Freecycle group about an animal you are interested in, you simply email the owner to ask if the pet is still available. People are usually particular about where their beloved animals are going, so it’s good to give a little information about your family and why you are interested in the pet. The owner then has the option of letting you have the pet if they think you will provide a good, loving home. If they say yes, you will usually have to drive to their home to pick up the animal.
Craiglist is also set up as a network consisting of groups for different cities and countries. You can easily find a group in your area by looking up Craigslist and clicking on the links to countries, states, counties, and cities. Craigslist can be a little more grouped together than Freecycle though. For example, I go on the Chicago Craigslist and it includes all of Chicagoland and the surrounding suburbs.
On Craigslist, you don’t receive emails of the postings. Instead, you go to the site for your area and click on the link to what group of listings you want to view. There is a link specifically for pets. Each posting will have a title that tells you what it’s for and the postings will be separated by date. At the end of each posting, the location is usually listed. If a location isn’t listed, make sure you ask if you inquire so you know how far away they are.
There is also a very convenient search bar at the top of the page where you can type in specifically what you are looking for. Pets on Craigslist can be free or have what they call a re-homing fee to ensure that the animal is going to a good home.
Just like Freecycle, if you see a posting on Craigslist about an animal you are interested in, you email the owner to inquire further. People on Craigslist are also particular about where their beloved animals are going, so again, it’s a good idea to give a little information about your family and why you are interested in the pet.
If no re-homing fee is mentioned in the posting, it’s best to ask if there is one. Sometimes people don’t put a re-homing fee in the listing, but there is one. Sometimes a re-homing fee is negotiable, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. Once a re-homing fee is set and the owner decides to let you have the pet, you usually have to drive to their home to pick up the animal.
My Experience with Finding Pets on Freecycle and Craigslist
I have had good experiences finding pets on both Freecycle and Craigslist. We found my daughters’ first hamster on Freecycle. She was a sweet black bear hamster that came with a huge cage and accessories. We also got a very nice bunny with her cage and supplies and recently acquired an adorable guinea pig with supplies from Freecycle. On Craigslist, we found a pair of beautiful parakeets with their cage, toys, and supplies for a re-homing fee of only $5, which was waved, so we ended up getting them for free. All of the pets have been healthy and none of them have had behavior problems.
I do recommend asking if there are any behavior of health problems before acquiring a pet from Freecycle or Craigslist if that is a concern to you. Also, I am in no way encouraging pet hoarding by sharing this information. Please be responsible with how many pets you have in comparison with how many you have enough time and money to properly care for.
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