An­i­mal Res­cue with Mar­ion Gar­nett

Ded­i­cated an­i­mal ex­pert Mar­ion Gar­nett, founder of the Eal­ing An­i­mal Wel­fare Bazaar, con­tin­ues her col­umn

Harefield Gazette - - ANIMAL NEWS -

IT is in­creas­ingly com­mon to see re­ports about peo­ple who have picked up a prob­lem by buy­ing an an­i­mal from an on­line clas­si­fied ad site. The Gazette has re­cently fea­tured fam­i­lies who have bought dogs via on­line ad­verts only to ex­pe­ri­ence the dogs dy­ing (see getwest­lon­don.co.uk).

Poor reg­u­la­tions have al­lowed many clas­si­fied ad sites to be­come havens for de­cep­tion and an­i­mal suf­fer­ing. Only last month I wrote about the prob­lems of puppy farm­ing which is of­ten associated with on­line ad­verts (Gazette, Au­gust 26) and how Pup Aid, sup­ported by celebri­ties such as Marc Abra­ham and Ricky Ger­vais, cam­paigns against this cruel prac­tice.

Part of the prob­lem is the thou­sands of pets for sale on web­sites where lit­tle is done to pre­vent de­cep­tive prac­tices or pro­tect the an­i­mal be­ing sold or the per­son ac­quir­ing a pet.

The char­ity Four Paws has de­vel­oped a set of mea­sures to help se­cure the well-be­ing of such an­i­mals.

Mea­sures in­clude ad sites hav­ing to ver­ify the seller’s iden­tity so there is no anony­mous sell­ing, pre-check­ing all ad­verts be­fore they go live to re­move mis­lead­ing ad­verts and putting in place a list of an­i­mals un­suit­able for sell­ing on the site.

To read about their cam­paign and sign their pe­ti­tion call­ing on eBay Clas­si­fieds Group, which owns nu­mer­ous clas­si­fied ad sites in­clud­ing Gumtree, to take the lead and adopt their mea­sures, see four-paws.org.uk.

You can also use the on­line Four Paws Pet De­cep­tion De­tec­tor to see the ex­tent to which clas­si­fied ad sites have im­ple­mented the mea­sures.

But why get an an­i­mal from an on­line clas­si­fied ad when we have an­i­mal res­cue char­i­ties where doc­u­ments are gen­uine and an­i­mals are health checked, mi­crochipped and, if old enough, neutered be­fore hom­ing?

For ex­am­ple, take Zuri (mum to these kit­tens), who was found as a stray. When taken to a vet by Houn­slow An­i­mal Wel­fare So­ci­ety (HAWS), she was found to have no mi­crochip and to be preg­nant.

She later de­liv­ered five kit­tens – three white and two black and white.

Some­times white cats are deaf but HAWS does not cur­rently know if this is the case for any of these.

Zuri’s kit­tens are to be homed in pairs and one with the mum.

If you would like the peace of mind that comes with know­ing you are get­ting your an­i­mal from a bona fide or­gan­i­sa­tion, call 020 8560 5443 or see haws-an­i­mals. co.uk.

n HOMES NEEDED: Zuri’s kit­tens

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