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While visiting an old friend last week, I met his cute Husky puppy who he said he had adopted for free from a shelter. I could not wait to get home and start a search for a free puppy, which I did by first listing all the possible ways so my ‘free puppy search’ would yield fruits quickly.

You can get a free puppy by emailing individuals or organizations with firsthand information on free puppies such as shelters, rescues, national and local kennel clubs, or breeders. You can also ask a neighbor whose dam has a new litter or search Facebook groups with a ‘free dog adoption’ handle.

Visiting pet shelters and rescues can also be done. But there are other ways you can get a free puppy. We present them to you in this article, starting from the least to the most advisable, as shown by the reverse numbering.

11. Local Pet Shelters

Pet shelters are mostly government-owned establishments that care for homeless pets. The pets are either lost, abandoned, or given up by owners who can no longer take care of them.

Because they have pets in large numbers, shelters appreciate adopters willing to give a home to a pet, and will readily give them for free. Shelters ensure that puppies have all the vaccinations and required vet care before handing them to you.

10. Adoption Forums


Pet adoption forums are usually online communities comprising rescue shelters and organizations, adopters, fosters, volunteers, professionals, and dog lovers who seek or want to share information about dogs.

You can join a pet forum and ask about adopting a puppy for free or search for posts on free adoption offers.  Most forums are free-membership with community regulations to abide by. A good example is Maddie’s Pet Forum that sustains animal welfare conversations 24/7.

9. Local Breeders

This is one of the rare ways to find a free puppy since most breeders have puppies for sale. Once in a while, however, a breeder may be trying to rehome a litter of puppies that have not found buyers or they may be closing shop and want to find a home for their last litter.

Beware of unscrupulous breeders who may be cleaning their conscience from unethical breeding practices by offering free puppies.

8. Reddit

Reddit is a collection of forums that make subreddits based on the topic. A series of posts and comments on adopting puppies would make a subreddit and you can find news and comments on getting puppies for free.

See for example this post where someone who says they can’t afford the adoption fee enquires about “anyone giving away free puppies in Philadelphia or near” A respondent informs them about “some free kittens at my friend’s place”

7. Craigslist

This online forum allows people to place classified ads to rehome (not to sell) pets. You can peruse through dog adoption ads in the “community” section to see pictures and information about your potential puppy’s physical looks, age, temperament, and health.

Once decided, you can proceed to engage the owner directly on Craigslist, by phone, or by email and get more info about your potential puppy before you and the owner make the final decision.

6. Newspaper Ads


Local newspapers usually have information about people trying to rehome their puppies. You can find ads on pets with a “Free to a good home” caption in the classifieds section plus other information on how to contact the owner.

You will not find images or lots of information about the dog in a newspaper ad since every inch of space costs. Instead, you can engage the owner through the contact details included in the ad.

5. Instagram Breeders

Searching the hashtag #dogforfree on Instagram yields plenty of options. But searching for “Instagram breeder feeds” yields even more results, and so does “free pups for adoption.”

While it’s easy to find a free puppy on Instagram, it’s important to get all the information about the dog before closing a deal. Animal rights organizations have raised alarm over unethical pet deals on Instagram, with some describing the social platform as a puppy mill advertiser.

4. Local Dog Rescues

Dog rescues are private organizations caring for dogs rescued from abusive or deplorable home conditions or from streets. They work with foster parents who take temporary responsibility until the dogs are successfully rehomed.

Rescues rely on donors and may require a minimal adoption fee to cover for vaccines and other food and vet expenses. Stay alert for adoption events at dog rescues, as you can get an adoption fee waiver on such occasions.

3. Facebook Groups

A quick search for “Facebook groups for dog adoption” returns innumerable results. Some of these groups, like Rehoming-916, have been created to help rehome lost and found pets or to simply divulge information about pets that need rehoming.

You’ll find plenty of posts offering “give away puppies” and adult dogs for free, with the advantage that you can immediately express interest by messaging the pet owner and following up on the adoption process.

2. Neighbors

The typical thing a dog owner with an expectant dog might do is ask their neighbors if they want a puppy once they are born. That assures them that the puppy is going into trusted hands.

You could also take the initiative and ask for a free puppy if you notice that your neighbor’s dog is expectant or has just given birth. Neighbors could also be your link to their friends and family rehoming puppies.

1. Email For Referrals

The fastest way of getting a free puppy is by being proactive. You can do that by writing a message, “looking for a free puppy”, and emailing it to persons or organizations with firsthand information for referrals on giveaway puppies. They include:

  • Breeders
  • Rescues and shelters
  • National and local kennel clubs
  • Animal rights organizations
  • Neighbors

Your email could also be a response to invitations such as “Waiving Adoption Fees at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center”.

Related Questions

What’s The Cheapest Dog In The World? The Beagle is often listed among the cheapest dogs in the world and can be purchased for as low as $200 or less. This breed also passes the ‘cheap test’ because you can feed it for as low as $10 a week, it’s generally a healthy breed and requires minimal grooming.

What Is The Cheapest Pet To Buy? You can buy a Betta Fish for only $2, which makes it a cheap to buy pet. Rare color patterns may go up to $10 or more. Besides, this type of fish does not need special aquariums to thrive, and you only need around $20 annually to feed the fish.

What Pets Are Good For Beginners? Rodents, Guinea pigs, Turtles, Fish, Geckos, Hamsters, and Parakeets are among the best pets for beginners. If we go by the Parakeet, you have a pet easy to care for and you can choose between small and medium sizes. Parakeets can live for up to 20 years, making them long-term companions.

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