Society

Dog Fighting: 'Free to Good Home' Ads Banned on Popular Website to Protect Pets from Becoming Bait

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A courageous Facebook-page administrator, Bree Firinauskas, has risked losing visitors to her very popular Buy, Swap, Sell website because she fears dogs advertised “free to a good home” may end up as bait for illegal dog fighting.

The Buy, Swap and Sell Dandenong, Australian, Facebook page has banned all posts advertising pets. Firinauskas said dogs advertised as “free to a good home” would be particularly attractive to people looking for cheap bait.

Let’s hope her leadership in protecting animals at the risk of losing profit is financially rewarded as well as providing safety for pets. All who care about animals should support this site for doing the right thing about the very real danger of advertised animals possibly becoming victims of torture in dog baiting or other abuse or neglect.

Mrs Firinauskas said that there was no way to ensure a dog was going to a good home.

“People could be sending their wives and girlfriends around to pick up these free pets ... you think you’re giving your dog away to a loving home but they’re not going there, they’re going to be used as bait,” she said.

Bree has two dogs of her own, and she believes unwanted dogs should be taken to a shelter. “It’s not because I don’t want them to be rehoused; it’s because I’m frightened for their life,” she said.

RSPCA Victoria manager Allie Jalbert said she was aware of reports of dog fighting in Melbourne, but investigations had not resulted in any recent cruelty charges. That is because most dog fighting is linked to organized crime and is an underground activity that is difficult to locate and investigate, she said.

The RSPCA does not advocate the sale of dogs online via sites such as Buy Swap Sell and encourages anyone who has any information on dog fighting to report it immediately to the RSPCA.

“If a dog can no longer be cared for and the owner is considering giving the dog away for free or selling it online, we would instead encourage surrender of the dog to any number of rescue groups, shelters, or the RSPCA,” she said.

Dogs advertised as “free to a good home” might appeal to people who can’t afford to pay for a dog, but those people should carefully consider the longer-term costs associated with dog ownership, including emergency vet bills, she emphasized.

The decision has triggered a heated debate on the closed Facebook site, the Herald Sun reports.

User Susan Sugden supports this decision by Bree Firinauskas and commented that people who couldn’t afford to pay for pets wouldn’t be able to afford vet bills later.

But user Rotor Rotor lashed out, saying it was better to give away dogs for free than have them end up in a pound on death row.

What do you think? Should dogs “free to a good home” be advertised on Facebook?

Source: Herald Sun

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