KEEPING AN EYE ON ONLINE PET ADOPTIONS
Look through any online classifieds site and there’s sure to be more than one advertisement selling, looking to rehome or give away a cat or a dog.
The animals may look legitimate and the reason for rehoming may be due to someone moving or allergies in the home.
But sometimes what you see is not what you get.
“The problem is there’s no way to police it,” said Frances Drover, president of the NL West SPCA in Corner Brook.
That doesn’t mean the NL West SPCA isn’t trying to.
Drover said the group has people watching for ads offering animals all the time.
When they see them, they contact the poster and let them know they will take the animal, or animals, if they don’t want to deal with them.
“It’s a service that we prefer because then the animals go to proper homes,” she said.
“In a lot of cases people who have puppies and kittens aren’t knowledgeable.”
It’s also a way of having puppies
or having kittens and making a few dollars on the side, she said. And with that comes a lot of inbreeding.
Those who take or buy one of those animals often don’t know what they are getting into.
Puppies nip and kittens will scratch with their needle-like nails.
“A cute little puppy six months later is an 80-pound dog that nobody can handle and they don’t want it.”
It’s something the SPCA sees a lot of. Drover said many of the
animals that go to the pound and then are taken by the SPCA are six to nine months old
“It’s somebody who has bought a dog or a puppy on classifieds and have no idea of what’s involved.”
And sometimes when they surrender their animal to the SPCA they’re not entirely upfront about why they are doing it. Drover said they’ve been told it’s because of allergies only to learn of an issue with the animal once it comes into the care of the SPCA.
Buying an animal online can also be issue for legitimate buyers as the ads often offer and animal that doesn’t really exist, claim it be a breed it’s not or give false reasons for selling it.
The advice she has for people looking for an animal is to visit the SPCA and look at what they have to begin with. The group’s Facebook page has pictures of available animals.
The SPCA also has a process for all adoptions that includes making sure the adopter is living in a proper facility that will suit the animal.
They also make people aware of the animal regulations in place in the community they are living in. And are proactive in educating them with what to expect with a new animal, providing them contact information for veterinarians and ensuring the animals are spayed or neutered. The SPCA also offers a 30-day return policy on the animals it adopts out.
The NL West SPCA are keeping track of any online trade of animals that could look suspicious.