Neighbourly’s Animal Welfare Policy aims to ensure any animals being sold or rehomed via Neighbourly are properly cared for as per the Animal Welfare Act 1999, the Codes of Welfare for Companion Cats and Dogs and the Temporary Housing of Companion Animals (2018).
Anyone who owns or is in charge of animals needs to be aware of any relevant codes of welfare and comply with the minimum standards in the codes and the general provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Neighbourly allows you to advertise rehoming your pet. However, we do ask that you follow a few guidelines. Firstly, please ensure you are not charging another member for this rehoming (only registered breeders can sell pets on the platform). Additionally please feature the below information in your post:
- The pet’s origin (registered breeder, private adoption...)
- The pet’s breed
- The pet’s size and age
Health information about your pet:
- Up to date vaccination information
- Up to date information on veterinary care (fleas, worms...)
- Whether your pet is desexed and microchipped
- Any inherited disorders, health concerns or medication taken
Lifestyle information about your pet:
- The animal’s feeding regime
- Favourite treats and toys
- Behaviour & relationship with other animals
We encourage members to include good pictures of their pets, so members can see what could become the newest addition to their family!
ANIMALS SHOULD NOT BE REHOMED IF
- The animal is less than 8 weeks old
In accordance with the Codes of Welfare, an independent animal is one that has been properly weaned from its mother. For this reason, Neighbourly will not condone any advertising for dogs, cats and rabbits younger than 8 weeks old. Please note: this amount of time differs for guinea pigs (6 weeks old), rats and mice (must be 4 weeks old) and chinchillas (must be 10 weeks old).
Additionally, animals must be able to feed independently and be in good health when made available for sale or rehoming.
- The animal is not well socialised
You should not rehome an animal that has not been well socialised and runs the risk of having behavioural issues (persistent barking, territorial barking, separation anxiety, chasing cars, destructive habits).
Between the ages of three to 14 weeks, puppies and kittens go through a development phase in which they become socialised. Any puppies or kittens being rehomed must have begun socialisation with other animals and humans before being rehomed.
If you already have pets or have young children, we recommend you take time to research and consider whether your new pet will suit your home environment and lifestyle. Introducing new pets can be managed with careful planning and constant supervision to ensure everyone is comfortable and safe.
- The animal does not comply with animal standards of good health
Members wishing to rehome their pets must make sure their animal complies with the standards of good health outlined in the Code of Welfare for Companion Cats and Dogs. This includes having received all required vaccinations and veterinary treatments.
Vaccinations include parvovirus, distemper, canine cough and leptospirosis for puppies; and feline enteritis and upper respiratory viruses for kittens. Veterinary treatments include flea treatment and deworming.
As disclosed by the Code of Welfare Dogs & Companion Cats, any known inherited disorders in puppies or kittens which may cause health problems must be disclosed by the original owner.
It is recommended that pets, other than those kept by a registered breeder for breeding purposes, be desexed at or before puberty. This is especially important in the case of cats, to prevent the potential of adding to the unwanted cat population.
Neighbourly leaves it to the discretion of members acquiring the pets to check that these treatments have been delivered, and/or ask for veterinary records.
- There is lack of confidence concerning the suitability of the new owner
Before an animal is rehomed, there must be no doubt that the new owner will take suitable care of the pet.
Making sure you are ready as a new owner includes:
- Having the correct space in your home to welcome an animal, including access to appropriate shade and shelter to meet their physical needs. The Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 state dogs must have dry and shaded shelter. Cats need to have access to adequate shelter to meet their physical needs.
- Being aware of the animal’s past treatments and vaccinations, and any hereditary disorders and/or illnesses
- Being aware of the costs related to adopting or purchasing an animal
- Being prepared for the pet’s interaction with other pets or children
Please be aware that any doubts regarding your suitability as a new pet owner can be grounds for intervention by the SPCA. Neighbourly is not responsible for checking that a potential owner is suitable, this is to the discretion of the current owner.
FAILURE TO REHOME A PET
In cases where a member should fail in rehoming their pet, the animal should be brought to an animal shelter or pet rescue for adoption by a new owner.
If they originally bought the pet from a breeder, the member should first get in touch with them to check if the breeder will take them in. Most reputable breeders include such a clause in their contract with purchasers.
Do be aware that it is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to abandon an animal where no provision is made to meet their needs, and an obligation exists for the owner or person in charge to pass the animal into the care of a responsible person or animal welfare shelter.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO CONSIDER
The Dog Control Act 1996 has requirements for registration and microchipping following purchase or adoption of a dog and puppies older than 3 months of age (unless a working dog).
it is a requirement of the Dog Control Act 1996 that, upon rehoming the dog, both the previous and new owners advise the councils concerned of the change of ownership.
Failure to abide by this policy may result in your post being removed, account closure and/or the matter being escalated to the SPCA.
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