A popular online classified site is sniffing out breeders who are profiting from the sale of animals online.
UsedEverywhere.com, that also has an office in Victoria, announced it has banned online ads posted by breeders of household pets or puppy mills that are profiting from the sale of such animals on Wednesday.
“If we suspect that you are profiting from the sale of animals, you’re a non-reputable breeder or you have a puppy mill, you will no longer be able to post on our site,” said Elizabeth Dutton, president of UsedEverywhere.com.
“We hope that by doing this it will be more difficult for people to find a place to sell these animals. If we can do our small part to reduce the market place for these animals then we hope the supply will go down as well.”
As part of the regulation, a person will review pet ads and trends within certain accounts. In the last two days, they’ve reviewed 4,000 pet ads.
“We are finding that people will change their email address and phone numbers so that they can continue to post animals,” added Dutton.
People wishing to rehome pets or are looking for pets can still post ads.
Geoff Urton, senior manager of stakeholder relations with the B.C. SPCA, hopes the new policies will crack down on unethical breeders.
“The Internet has become a safe haven for unethical puppy mills and other pet breeders,” said Urton. “It sends a very strong message that it’s unacceptable to exploit pets by selling them online for profit.”
According to Urton, dogs raised in puppy mills experience horrific conditions and are often kept in confined conditions. This can lead to the animals developing health conditions and often becoming aggressive towards people and animals.
“The animals suffer, the pet owners who have to deal with the health conditions of the animals suffer and public safety can suffer too,” said Urton, adding that reputable breeders would not be posting animals on classified websites in the first place.
“Look for breeders that are only breeding one kind of animal, make sure you visit the breeder and ask to see where the animals are being kept and make sure they have a veterinary checkup.”
Recently Kijiji started charging $5 to post the sale of a pet.
“We didn’t feel like that was strict enough, people are selling these animals for hundreds of dollars, so a $5 fee, we didn’t feel was a deterrent and we’ve taken a much more stricter policy and we hope others will follow suit,” said Dutton.