KEEP­ING AN EYE ON ON­LINE PET ADOP­TIONS

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY DIANE CROCKER [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_DianeCrock­er

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.

123RF STOCK PHOTO

The NL West SPCA are keep­ing track of any on­line trade of an­i­mals that could look sus­pi­cious.

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