Want to sell a pet on Facebook? You better read this first
FACEBOOK has a policy forbidding pet sales, but many users are ignoring it.
Pages such as Clarence Valley Buy Swap and Sell and others contain posts offering puppies for sale or given away for free.
This is despite Facebook's 2017 directive: "Posts may not promote the sale of any animals. You can't sell live animals, pets, livestock, and any part, pelt or skin from animal including fur."
An RSPCA NSW spokesperson said the issue wasn't the free aspect, but animal welfare.
She said research showedthe price point of a pet - including if a pet is free - had no impact on an animal's welfare.
"While there is no evidence that the price point of an animal has any impact on the animal's subsequent welfare, obtaining an animal from unethical and irresponsible breeders can have horrible impacts on the animal's well-being," the spokesperson said.
The RSPCA recommended people looking for a new pet adopt from a shelter or responsible rescue organisation rather than an online platform such as Gumtree, Facebook or the Trading Post.
She said too often pets were given away or sold online without being desexed, micro-chipped or vet checked.
"RSPCA animals come desexed, micro-chipped, vet and behaviour checked, and our staff make sure each animal is perfectly matched to each family to lower the risk of returns or dumped animals."
The RSPCA recommended anyone looking for a new pet consider the type of pet best suited to their family and lifestyle, the financial costs of owning a pet, whether they have enough time to commit to training and looking after their pet every day, and whether they are ready for a 15-year commitment.
"We have countless animals surrendered to RSPCA shelters each year because people have made rash decisions, or not properly considered their circumstances," she said.
If you insist on going through a breeder, the RSPCA strongly recommends you visit the place where the puppy was born, meet the mother dog and check they're healthy and happy, and ensure the breeder provides a high standard of care.