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The 4 Most Hated Words in Any Language: Free To Good Home

Updated on February 18, 2016
Jeff Nally convicted on 29 counts of felony animal cruelty. His victims were listed on Craig's List as "free to good home". He received a sentence of 10-45 years in prison.
Jeff Nally convicted on 29 counts of felony animal cruelty. His victims were listed on Craig's List as "free to good home". He received a sentence of 10-45 years in prison. | Source

Free To Good Home. Whether we see the words in print or hear them in conversation those four words send cringes up the spine of anyone who advocates for animal welfare. They're associated with giving ZERO value to that of a living being. People who prey upon animals are bold enough to answer "free to good home" advertisements with the ability to pass themselves off as decent animal-loving people. They are cunning, persuasive and sick individuals. They're even scrolling the "free ads" now while you're reading this article.

Animal abusers are in every community and in any profession. Below are just a select few cases that prove that abusers are everywhere.

Case in point (without the graphic details)

Shon Rahrig- CASE #1999 ER B 070982, Franklin County Court, Columbus, Ohio

His acts are far too graphic to depict here but suffice it to say they were brutal. He was turned in to authorities after his girlfriend discovered his dirty little secret. At first he did use animal shelters to find victims but that proved too costly and offered a paper trail that could be followed. Shon turned to classifieds after being placed on the DNA (DO NOT ADOPT) list of several local shelters. The most disturbing thing about Shon is that he looks like a somewhat ordinary guy. As a matter of fact, his last known occupation was as a real estate agent after having fled to California. He's also been linked to Boston, Florida and back in Ohio by various animal watchdogs during his 12 years of being on the lam. Not surprising that he fled before he serving his punishment for animal cruelty.

Tedi Spicer-Court Date 01-18-2011

File Date 04-22-2010 Next Court Location COURTROOM 4003 Case Title PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS -VS- TEDI L SPICER Court Time 08:30 AM Agency Glendale Heights Police Assigned Location Legal Status ACTIVE Balance Due Amount Counts Count Number Count Description Count Status Complaint Number 0001 CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACTIVE 10004021

Tedi's rap sheet is quite extensive in the state of Illinois and does not all pertain to animal cruelty. She loves Facebook and uses it as a resource to gain access to animals. My knowledge of this is first hand.

In August of 2011, I was on Facebook when a plea to help a dog appeared on my wall. The picture showed a dog on personal property and in imminent danger. There were over 1000 shares on it along with pledges from fellow animal lovers to the person who could rescue this sweet pup. I began to watch the posting with undivided attention. The pledged amount was several hundred dollars when Tedi jumped on the thread. She offered to rescue the dog! The majority of followers were thrilled....all but one man. His comment to her was a simple question, "Are you the same Tedi Spicer convicted of animal cruelty in the state of Illinois?". After several attempts to get a response from her, the savvy animal advocate posted her cruelty charges within the thread. Within mere minutes, Tedi deleted her comments and closed her Facebook account. Just one example of a good Samaritan with a bad agenda.

Daniel Shonka- State of Iowa, County of Lin. Case ID: 732 Classification: Felony and Misdemeanor Theft. Sentence: Nine months in jail, four years probation.

This man operated a kennel in Iowa and reached out to greyhound owners who were looking to re-home their former racers. Instead of re-homing these poor souls, he sold them to Guidant Corp. which is a research lab. A corporation that pays $400 per greyhound. It's estimated that Shonka sold close to 1000 dogs between 1996 and 2000. His operation only ceased because he was caught in this evil act of greed; otherwise, he would still be taking animals who were offered for free.

Jeff Nally of West VIrginia, according to police, 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.

Patrick Trejo of Arizona found dogs on Craig's List to assault.

Preston Ray Odle of Tennessee charged with aggravated animal cruelty after receiving a free puppy from a local resident. He decided he didn't want it only 4 short days after answering the ad.

Unfortunately, the list goes on.

What You Should Do

  • Spay or neuter your pet to avoid unwanted litters. Also seek low cost spay/neuter clinics to alter any kittens or puppies before you adopt out.
  • If re-homing is absolutely necessary, place a monetary value on him/her and donate that to an animal rescue or shelter.
  • Take the time to investigate your potential adopter. Use online resources and call shelters to ask about their Do Not Adopt to lists.
  • Do a home visit and a follow up visit to ensure the animal's safety and welfare
  • Educate yourself on animal shelters-realize that no animal is "safe" simply because it's young and cute. Most shelters euthanize for space regardless of how adoptable the animal may be! Search for "NO-KILL" shelters in your area.
  • Acknowledge that pets are life-time commitments~whether you are re-homing a pet or finding a forever home for that of a stray animal who is in your care.
  • Provide for your companion animals within your last will and testament. Specify with whom they should be placed upon your death and, hopefully, provide financial security for their well-being. The monetary amount does not have to be grand and your benefactor should be chosen with great care. This is a very simple step to help ensure your pet will not be advertised as "free to good home" or dropped off at a high-kill shelter in your absence.

Much like children, animals are dependent upon responsible adults for their well-being. Neither, of whom, should be considered disposable or handed over freely to strangers. Period.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I'm greufatl you made the post. It's cleared the air for me.

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Lock them up and throw away the key. I saw this in South Africa too.

      I adopted three dogs that had had a terrible time.

      I keep them for nearly 8 years and had to hand them back to the SPCA when I left the country.

      It was heart breaking. UK guaranteeing laws wouldn't allow them in. Because they had the equivalent of HIV. I wrote hub on them Fluffy Buck and Ben. Shame on these people.

      Voted up and interesting. Tweeting.

    • Pages-By-Patty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Midwest

      Yes, there is a good amount of evil out there when it comes to animal abuse and, sadly, not all are reported or exposed.

      But bringing awareness to the situation and how it arises will, hopefully, lessen the suffering.

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      This is horrible, I am so glad these people are being punished for their dispicable acts against animals. It is heartbreaking to read, and to even think there are evil people out there doing these vicious acts.

    • Pages-By-Patty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Midwest

      Hi Rebecca!

      Yes, the animal fighting sickens me also. The abuse is EVERYWHERE and at the hands of ANYBODY. I recently received an update on Shon Rahrig, he was found posting to Craig's list that he was looking for a puppy for his "little princess" (daughter) as a birthday present. The ad looked quite legit; however, it was just another ploy to obtain a victim.

      And, the Gamecocks mascot is disturbing! I don't understand how we're living in the era that we are and, yet, still have such a primitive mentality toward animals.

      Thanks for the comment and idea! :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for this very humane insight into animal abuse. Also, in my "neck of the woods" we have idiots who teach animals to fight like dog fighting and chicken fighting rings. I can't believe USC (University of SC) gets by with the mascot of Gamecocks. It is sickening to me. Write a Hub about it Patty. Go girl, good job!

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Patty....I've heard of several of your examples..FB, Craigslist...even those poor animals given away or abandoned in parking lots of large shopping malls...all are doomed to a very short life of hurt and pain. We are so much on the same "page" regarding animals, it is amazing. I applaud your efforts here; your fantastic communicative skills and excellent information, statistics and guidance for others to become better equipped to deal with animal needs. All ups but funny. Of course

      thank you so much ... I am so very pleased to have found you here on HP's! Definitely following you. Your friend for animals, kathy

    • Pages-By-Patty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks so much, Bukarella!

      Taking proper responsibility for animals is the key factor of either being part of the solution or part of the problem.

      Spay & neuter, making lifetime commitments and not giving away free animals would end enormous suffering.

    • Bukarella profile image

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      6 years ago from United States

      Up, useful, tweeted. I just can't understand the way some people are wired. And this is a perfect example how ignorance contributes to this problem.

    • Pages-By-Patty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Midwest

      Unbelievable, isn't it? Many years ago, there was a man in town who paid 2 neighborhood kids to pose as his children and they regularly answered free ads for puppies & kittens. His sole purpose was selling them to a dog fighting ring to be used as bait.

      Thanks so much for taking interest in the on-going travesty.

    • Nettlemere profile image


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Really shocking - I'm stunned that people would do this, go round picking up free animals to abuse, I've clearly been naïve, so thank you for bringing this in to the open with a well evidenced article.


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