I sent what Victoria wrote to my friend Mari, who replied with some more great information. So I thought I'd put that here, in addition to Victoria's blogpost.
How a rehoming fee protects your pet:
Please don't compromise on your rehoming fee since 'free to good home' ads are strongly discouraged by the Richmond Times Dispatch, Craigslist, and all animal rescue groups. The reason is that they encourage people who:
1. get a dog on a whim. It is a serious responsibility that spans 10-15 years or more. Charging at least $60 makes people stop and think. Small purebreds should be at least $150 if they under age 7. Otherwise, they are subject to resale for more money- no matter what the adopter tells you about giving them a forever home.
2. get a dog even though they cannot afford vet care, etc. Dogs are not cheap. If a family cannot write a check for $60 for a new pet, they have no business getting a dog. What will happen when he gets an ear infection, etc?
3.get free dogs and use them for pitbull bait.
4. get free dogs and , when they get a bunch, sell them for research. They are called bunchers.
5. are puppy mills and get unspayed purebreds to live as breeders neglected in a cage for the rest of their lives.
6. are people like Lynne W. in Varina and Frederick Cooper in Richmond get free dogs and then sell them to all comers. Lynne sells them at Richmond area flea markets for about $50. Wright sells them out of his residence near Woodman Rd. (He may have moved.) He likes small dogs- mixed or purebred. I just got an email from a Craigslist poster that he is now using an alias ( Jason) & has moved off Brook Rd. See why a home visit is important? An adopter said he had a bunch of dogs at his house waiting to be sold.
She calls herself Over the Rainbow Rescue. That is not what reputable rescues do.
7. are hoarders who think they are helping dogs but cannot care for them since they have too many. They sound great when they talk to you since they truly love animals -but a home visit will reveal the deplorable conditions of the dogs and cats in their animal collections.
It's easy to keep all of the above from your door- charge a fee.
The following links are to articles that are extremely disturbing. But they highlight the risks of placing your animals into homes that you have not checked out. We all know times are tough, but please, at least do a home inspection and make a phone call to the vet before adopting your animals to just anyone. The previous owners of these dogs would probably be just devastated to know how they ended up.