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Pet Adverts | Why you should not use classifieds for pets

Perhaps a death in the family and the relative is trying to re-home a beloved pet.

If ever the phrase “things are not what they seem” was appropriate, it is in these cases. We cannot emphasise strongly enough why people should not advertise any animal to be given away.

It may sound far-fetched but we would like to explain. Even though people may think they are doing the right thing by advertising their pet or pets in this way, our experience may persuade you to think otherwise. You may be trusting and caring but there are people out there whom we refer to as “brokers” who source animals advertised in this way and you do need to be warned.

For example, pets were removed by the SPCA Tshwane (formerly Pretoria) from the property of one dog broker who sourced “free to good home” pets or advertised for them. According to the SPCA Tshwane, his modus operandi was to approach people offering a dog “free to a good home” and undertake that the dog would live on a plot or a farm.

Another person we refer to as a dog broker had criminal charges laid against him in terms of the Animals Protection Act. The charges related to the conditions in which he was keeping the animals.

The most startling revelation of what happens to “free to good home dogs” came when the NSPCA received irrefutable evidence that truck-loads of dogs from South Africa were arriving in Malawi to work for security companies.

Every single dog traced by the NSPCA so far in this operation was once a pet but was given away when the owner(s) claimed their circumstances changed. In every case, the dog was given to a person who promised it would go to a plot or a farm.

Instead, each of these dogs is now with a security company in Malawi. They travelled there by the truck-load overland.

Our contact in Malawi says that many of these dogs are timid, some thin and most not coping.

When contacted by the NSPCA, the original owners of each of these dogs sounded very upset at the fate of their animals. Each person claimed to have been misled but each of them agreed that they had given up their rights to ownership of the animals when they gave them away to another person.

The NSPCA appeals to everyone NOT to give to pet away, never ever to hand a pet over to someone and to work through your local SPC if a pet has to be surrendered.

In the interest of all animals, please put the message across of what horrors have already been uncovered and motivate that the animals go to the SPCA.

Brokers have many guises. Brokers respond to ads in the Classifieds, in the Junk Mail, OLX and Gumtree or on notice-boards at supermarkets, libraries etc but they do not announce who they are. They will not tell you that they are in the business of sourcing animals or acting for someone who is. Their stories are plausible and we have even had reports that a woman and a child will act as the go-between to convince the pet owner that they are genuine and will look after the animal.

The end result is the same.

Please go to Support  Your Local SPCA on this website for telephonic details of your nearest SPCA and please be assured that staff will be only too willing to assist and advise. That’s what we’re here for.

This article was contributed by the NSPCA

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