Guest Post: There’s no such thing as a free pet AND Lickety Sticks Giveaway!

And don’t we know it! This is exactly how pets wind up flooding shelters and lions end up at places like Lions, Tigers and Bears. This hour’s guest post comes from Jim Tedford at PetSafe. If you survive the zombie apocalypse, you may find yourself looking for a new pet over the holidays, as do many of us. As Jim notes, “free” rarely means “free.”

By Jim Tedford, Director of Pet Identification,

To be honest, I don’t remember much from my college Economics class. But I do remember one concept…”TANSTAFL: there aint no such thing as a free lunch”. In the case of my career and my life, I’ve made a minor revision to that adage: “there aint no such thing as a free PET!”

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of “free to good home” ads in local newspapers all over the country. In communities where the practice has not yet been outlawed, there are even people giving away unwanted litters of puppies and kittens outside of shopping center and on street corners. (By the way, there is an EASY cure for those unwanted litters. It’s called spaying or neutering your pets! I’ll save that soapbox speech for another blog entry…).

But, there is truly no such thing as a FREE pet.

That kitten your neighbor convinces you to take off his hands will be with you for 15+ years. During his lifetime, he will eat every single day. He will need fresh litter regularly. He will need to be neutered. He will need annual vaccinations and other preventative health care. He will need medical care when he’s sick. And sometimes that care will be extraordinarily expensive!

On a recent trip to my veterinarian I was presented with a bill that was more than double what I earned in a month at my first real job! I really SHOULD have taken advantage of the pet insurance I was offered when I adopted Bodie…but I didn’t. So, my choices were to ignore a major health crisis being faced by my best friend, or have him treated and pay the bill. Not really a choice at all in my book! Thankfully, I went into the relationship with my eyes wide open and part of my commitment to Bodie and all my pets is that I will provide ALL their needs.

If you are thinking of adding a companion animal to your life, being financially prepared for those little surprises is very important. For some folks that means a rainy day fund and for others it means a monthly pet insurance premium. In either case, the payback in sloppy wet kisses and unconditional love is well worth the investment.


Jim Tedford serves as Director of Pet Identification for PetSafe. Working on the front line of animal welfare for over 20 years, Jim has served as CEO for organizations in New York, Louisiana and Tennessee. Prior to joining PetSafe, Jim provided marketing and fundraising services to animal welfare organizations nationwide. Jim holds a degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Jim and his wife Ann share their “empty nest” in the Smoky Mountains with adopted dogs Bodie, Sam, and Lila and a formerly homeless macaw, Gipper.


PetSafe has two Lickety Stik treat sticks for you! No more messy crumbles in your pocket, just a little neat, capped rollerball. Yummy, low-cal and neat, this makes it easy to train on the run.

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To enter, just comment below with the name of the pet you’d like to get a Lickety Stik. Winners to be chosen at random!

Filed: Be The Change, Blogathon, Blogathon 2011, Giveaways Tagged: , ,
  • Heather

    I don’t have a dog, but I’d give it to my friend who rescues dogs so her own dogs- Miguel, Mexico Hugo, Suzie or Skye- and her rescues looking for new homes – Zulu, Cletus, Spot and Tansy- can share the yummy goodness.

  • Well said! With all the super cute farm kittens around here, I say “There’s no such thing as a free kitten” to a client at least once a month! Here’s hoping they read your post before they adopt…and then adopt being more prepared!

  • Lisa W

    OMG, I wonder if my picky Oscar would like that? I’ve never in my life seen a dog who is less food-motivated than my boy…..

    • Lisa W

      P.S. Love the post. I think people woefully underestimate what costs will be.

  • I would give this to my brother-in-law for their dogs and foster dogs.

  • Esther

    Oo I want to try the Lickety Stick out for my dog Moose (who has never been free, and just when I get a vet bill paid off he has some off the wall thing happen)

  • Emily K

    My pup Layla would love this. She is especially fond of licking things…

  • Emily K

    My pup Layla would love this. She is especially fond of licking things…

  • We have a new puppy, Annora, so this would be handy for training.

  • gabs

    My two dogs Oliver and Mirabelle would love this!

  • LisaK

    I would love to try this with my Scooter. Like Oscar, he is so not motivated by food. I’ve spent a small fortune on almost every training treat made!

  • LisaK

    I would love to try this with my Scooter. Like Oscar, he is so not motivated by food. I’ve spent a small fortune on almost every training treat made!

  • Nicki

    I would love this for Bella!

  • Quinn

    Ohhhhh! I’ve never seen these before! I am in training with one of my dog’s– Ruby, in preparation for her CGC and hopefully as a therapy dog down the road. I also do obedience training once a week with my favorite dog at the shelter I volunteer at– Abby, a bulldog/am staff mix. Our other dog, Boss, will be starting training soon too- mostly because he is a crotchety old timer that needs to remember to have manners once in a while 🙂
    These would be really great to use in my various training adventures!

  • Jasouza9

    Gilbert would love this!

  • PeterKenneth24

    awwww your dog is super cute…