Difference between revisions of "Pets and animals"

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The question whether or not to allow pets and other animals to be offered on Freegle is a controversial one and the source of much strife. It is also a decision that is up to local groups to decide.
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[[Category:Pets/Animals]]
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The question whether or not to allow pets and other animals to be offered on Freegle can be a controversial one. It is also a decision that is up to local groups to decide.
  
‘Other animals’ include live animal feed (e.g. mice or locusts to be fed to reptiles) and livestock (e.g. poultry)
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(‘Other animals’ include live animal feed, e.g. mice or locusts to be fed to reptiles, and livestock, e.g. poultry.)
  
When deciding whether or not to allow pet and animal posts the moderator team may want to consider what local facilities are already available for re-homing pets, such as rescue centres, whether the group is an urban one or a rural one, and whether the moderator team have the time and experience to give to this. They may also wish to run a poll on the group - if you have polled your members, that can be helpful when dealing with complaints. Be aware that there have been instances of news of such a poll might reach organisations who have very strong opinions on the subject, and they may encourage people to join your group with the single purpose of voting on the poll. You may want to consider suspending new applications for the duration of the poll.
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Some groups do not allow animal posts of any description, some allow offers but not wanteds. Some allow posts for animals that local centres do not cater for, such as fish.
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PETA wrote to the Board in 2022 asking for a national policy prohibiting offers of live animals.  The Board discussed it and decided it was to remain a local decision. https://discourse.ilovefreegle.org/t/message-from-peta/4918
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===Your Group's Policy===
  
Some groups do not allow animal posts of any description, some allow offers but not wanteds. Some allow posts for animals that local centres do not cater for, such as fish.
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When deciding whether or not to allow pet and animal posts the moderator team may want to consider the following:
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* What local facilities are already available for re-homing pets, such as rescue centres.
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* Whether the group is an urban one or a rural one.
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* Whether the moderator team have the time and experience to give to this.
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* Whether to run a poll on the group - if you have polled your members, that can be helpful when dealing with complaints. Be aware that there have been instances of news of such a poll might reach organisations who have very strong opinions on the subject, and they may encourage people to join your group with the single purpose of voting on the poll. You may want to consider suspending new applications for the duration of the poll.
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* The Pet Advertising Advisory Group (http://paag.org.uk/) offers good advice for those wanting a new pet and is a good resource for your group to use to help members.  The RSPCA, Blue Cross and other major charities are all members of PAAG.  They are all concerned with inappropriate online advertising of animals.
  
There is a Freegle group for moderators trying to make the choice at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FreeglePetMods/ This group is not for questions on particular posts, but for moderators to discuss and help in the decision making regarding Pet posting on any Freegle group.
 
  
===Advantages:===
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===Advantages in allowing Animal posts===
  
 
*There may not be local facilities in your area to re-home pets, making this a potentially useful service.
 
*There may not be local facilities in your area to re-home pets, making this a potentially useful service.
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*Members may wish to have contact with the person they re-home their pet with.
 
*Members may wish to have contact with the person they re-home their pet with.
  
*Allowing pets gives members more choices as to how they can use their group, making the group is less restrictive.
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*Allowing pets gives members more choice as to how they can use their group, making the group less restrictive.
  
===Disadvantages:===
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===Disadvantages in allowing Animal posts===
  
 
*Can increase workload.
 
*Can increase workload.
  
*Can increase the number of complaints both the group and Freegle UK gets - people have been known to boycott groups that allow animal posts.
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*Can increase the number of complaints both the group and Freegle nationally gets - people have been known to boycott groups that allow animal posts.
  
 
*You may feel uneasy about animals being re-homed without the safety checks and vetting (pun intended) offered by rescue centres.
 
*You may feel uneasy about animals being re-homed without the safety checks and vetting (pun intended) offered by rescue centres.
  
===Tip: links===
 
;Add local animal rescue centres to the links section, here are some national ones that you are welcome to include:
 
 
:http://www.animalrescuers.co.uk/
 
 
:http://www.animalsanctuaries.co.uk/
 
 
:http://www.catchat.org/adoption/index.html
 
 
:http://www.cats.org.uk/
 
 
:http://www.catsdogsonline.co.uk/
 
 
:http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/
 
 
 
===Tip: get a pet mod===
 
 
A pet mod is solely in charge of handling all pet posts - any post relating to live animals is put on HOLD (this can be a mod edit in the subject line of a message in pending) and left for the pet mod to deal with.
 
 
Questions a pet mod might ask include:-
 
 
:*is the animal in good health?
 
 
:*is the animal pregnant?
 
 
:*has it been fully vaccinated and neutered?
 
 
:*have other avenues such as animal sanctuaries been explored?
 
 
:*is the animal safe? (see the dangerous dogs act)
 
 
(link to guidelines on pet posting you might wish to use)
 
 
here is an admin you can use called 'no animals' [[No_animals]]
 
 
Messages relating to lost pets are really more suited to café groups than to the main Freegle groups.
 
 
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=An example of a local no-animal policy:=
 
 
Aim of XXFreegleGroupXX Animal Policy
 
;That no offers or requests for pets appear on XXFreegleGroupXX Freegle and that members hoping to offer or request an animal are referred to an appropriate organisation within 24 hours.
 
 
==XXFreegleGroupXX Animal Policy==
 
 
;1.0 Members
 
 
1.1 That all members are informed that animal offers and requests are not allowed on XXFreegleGroupXX. No exceptions. This will be done on joining, in a regular monthly email and on an 'as required' basis.
 
  
1.2. That any member attempting to offer or request an animal on the main list or the café group is reminded of this policy.
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===Tips===
  
1.3. Members are able to contact the moderators via:
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* Keep an up to date list of local and national animal rescue centres to send to people wanting to rehome live creatures (See [[Animal Rehoming Links]] )
XXFreegleGroupXX-owner@yahoogroups.com
 
  
;2.0 Group Management
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* Establish a good relationship with your local rescue and rehoming centres - your group can help them with things they want (bedding, carriers, baskets, cages etc) and you will be in a stronger position if you do get challenged if you can respond with well informed information about your group's policy.  
  
2.1. That there is a link to this policy on the XXFreegleGroupXX Home page and in the Etiquette File:
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* Get a Pet Mod. A Pet Mod is solely in charge of handling all animal posts. See [[Pet Mods]] for some guidance on how this role can be carried out.
  
2.2. That group moderators do not offer specific advice regarding the rehoming of any animal but will provide a member with a list of relevant animal rehoming organisations or animal sanctuaries as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the member's initial contact.
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* Messages relating to lost pets are really more suited to café groups than to the main Freegle groups.
  
2.3. That any animal offers or requests that do appear onlist (from unmoderated members) are removed immediately and that the individual member is informed/reminded of this policy. If appropriate that an Admin message is sent to the group reminding all members of this policy.
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* An example of a local no-animal policy can be found [[no animal policy|here]] and one allowing pets [[Local Pet Policy|here]].
  
2.4. That a member contacting the group moderators hoping to offer an animal is never put directly in contact with another member known to have requested one.
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* See [[Frogspawn]] and tadpoles for specific advice on these seasonal messages!
  
2.5. That moderators on no account provide any rehoming 'advice' to any member other than to refer them on to a relevant rehoming organisation.
 
  
2.6. That the rest of the group moderators are aware of all ongoing communications between any group moderator and any member regarding animal issues.
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===Messages/Replies to Members===
  
2.7. That there is a comprehensive list of links to animal rehoming organisations (especially local 'non-put-to-sleep' ones) in the links and files sections of the main list:
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====General Reply as used nationally====
:Add link to files section of local group
 
:Add link to links section of local group
 
  
2.8. That the group owner/s will ensure that one of the moderators has dealt with and followed up on each animal query/issue according to this policy.
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The central Freegle mailbox gets the occasional member complaining about their local group allowing animal posts. Where possible, all emails are forwarded to the local group concerned to deal with, but often members want Freegle to adopt a national policy. An example of the Mailbox response to that type of email is:
  
;3.0 Pet Moderator
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"Thank you very much for your concern.  We have guidelines for groups that offer pets which mention the points you have made but as we are a network of independent groups, each group has its own policy on whether live creatures can be rehomed via their community.
  
3.0 The group may choose to have a moderator responsible for animal issues. In the absence of a pet moderator see point 2.8
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You have mentioned cats and dogs, but our groups are offered a much larger - and usually less emotive - range of live creatures. Hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, fish, giant land snails, snakes, locusts and others have all been offered. When deciding on a local policy, the moderating team will take the whole range of animals into account in their decision.
  
3.1. That any named pet moderator is a member of any national and pet-specific Mod groups in order to keep abreast of animal policies within Freegle as an organisation.
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Some of our groups allow no live creatures at all, some allow small creatures, others allow all animals. Each group responds to the local need for rehoming, which often charities are not able to fulfill. The first port of call is always recommended to be local rehoming centres but usually those with cats and dogs have already unsuccessfully tried that avenue. There are very few, if any, outlets nationwide for fish, rodents, reptiles, birds etc.  With the current economic situation creating record numbers of unwanted dogs and cats for charities to deal with, other creatures can stand little chance of rehoming because it is traditionally cats, dogs and horse/donkey charities that attract the financial and emotional support of the public.
  
3.2. That the pet moderator ensures that the group owner(s) is/are made aware of any planned leave longer than 24 hours' duration in order that the owner(s) ensure that another moderator is available to deal with any queries.
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All our volunteers take seriously their responsibilities in running their groups. As we are a network of individual groups, run by local people, we are able to respond to local need. You haven't mentioned which charity or group you represent, but if animal welfare charities offered their help and time to their local Freegle group, it could provide a much better situation for the many unwanted live creatures there are in the UK."
  
3.3. That the pet moderator operates strictly within this policy when representing any Freegle group, even if they have extensive experience with animal rescue and rehoming.
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====Rejection Message for post====
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A sample message for rejection of a post on your group - [[Animals]]
  
;4.0 Review of Policy
 
  
4.1. That this policy is reviewed at least 6 monthly by the full XXFreegleGroupXX moderating team to ensure that this policy remains within Freegle rules.
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Links:
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*[[Specific Items]]
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*[[Tortoises]]
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*[[Frogspawn]]
  
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[[category:Specific Items]]

Latest revision as of 11:00, 28 April 2022

The question whether or not to allow pets and other animals to be offered on Freegle can be a controversial one. It is also a decision that is up to local groups to decide.

(‘Other animals’ include live animal feed, e.g. mice or locusts to be fed to reptiles, and livestock, e.g. poultry.)

Some groups do not allow animal posts of any description, some allow offers but not wanteds. Some allow posts for animals that local centres do not cater for, such as fish.

PETA wrote to the Board in 2022 asking for a national policy prohibiting offers of live animals. The Board discussed it and decided it was to remain a local decision. https://discourse.ilovefreegle.org/t/message-from-peta/4918

Your Group's Policy

When deciding whether or not to allow pet and animal posts the moderator team may want to consider the following:

  • What local facilities are already available for re-homing pets, such as rescue centres.
  • Whether the group is an urban one or a rural one.
  • Whether the moderator team have the time and experience to give to this.
  • Whether to run a poll on the group - if you have polled your members, that can be helpful when dealing with complaints. Be aware that there have been instances of news of such a poll might reach organisations who have very strong opinions on the subject, and they may encourage people to join your group with the single purpose of voting on the poll. You may want to consider suspending new applications for the duration of the poll.
  • The Pet Advertising Advisory Group (http://paag.org.uk/) offers good advice for those wanting a new pet and is a good resource for your group to use to help members. The RSPCA, Blue Cross and other major charities are all members of PAAG. They are all concerned with inappropriate online advertising of animals.


Advantages in allowing Animal posts

  • There may not be local facilities in your area to re-home pets, making this a potentially useful service.
  • Members may wish to have contact with the person they re-home their pet with.
  • Allowing pets gives members more choice as to how they can use their group, making the group less restrictive.


Disadvantages in allowing Animal posts

  • Can increase workload.
  • Can increase the number of complaints both the group and Freegle nationally gets - people have been known to boycott groups that allow animal posts.
  • You may feel uneasy about animals being re-homed without the safety checks and vetting (pun intended) offered by rescue centres.


Tips

  • Keep an up to date list of local and national animal rescue centres to send to people wanting to rehome live creatures (See Animal Rehoming Links )
  • Establish a good relationship with your local rescue and rehoming centres - your group can help them with things they want (bedding, carriers, baskets, cages etc) and you will be in a stronger position if you do get challenged if you can respond with well informed information about your group's policy.
  • Get a Pet Mod. A Pet Mod is solely in charge of handling all animal posts. See Pet Mods for some guidance on how this role can be carried out.
  • Messages relating to lost pets are really more suited to café groups than to the main Freegle groups.
  • An example of a local no-animal policy can be found here and one allowing pets here.
  • See Frogspawn and tadpoles for specific advice on these seasonal messages!


Messages/Replies to Members

General Reply as used nationally

The central Freegle mailbox gets the occasional member complaining about their local group allowing animal posts. Where possible, all emails are forwarded to the local group concerned to deal with, but often members want Freegle to adopt a national policy. An example of the Mailbox response to that type of email is:

"Thank you very much for your concern. We have guidelines for groups that offer pets which mention the points you have made but as we are a network of independent groups, each group has its own policy on whether live creatures can be rehomed via their community.

You have mentioned cats and dogs, but our groups are offered a much larger - and usually less emotive - range of live creatures. Hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, fish, giant land snails, snakes, locusts and others have all been offered. When deciding on a local policy, the moderating team will take the whole range of animals into account in their decision.

Some of our groups allow no live creatures at all, some allow small creatures, others allow all animals. Each group responds to the local need for rehoming, which often charities are not able to fulfill. The first port of call is always recommended to be local rehoming centres but usually those with cats and dogs have already unsuccessfully tried that avenue. There are very few, if any, outlets nationwide for fish, rodents, reptiles, birds etc. With the current economic situation creating record numbers of unwanted dogs and cats for charities to deal with, other creatures can stand little chance of rehoming because it is traditionally cats, dogs and horse/donkey charities that attract the financial and emotional support of the public.

All our volunteers take seriously their responsibilities in running their groups. As we are a network of individual groups, run by local people, we are able to respond to local need. You haven't mentioned which charity or group you represent, but if animal welfare charities offered their help and time to their local Freegle group, it could provide a much better situation for the many unwanted live creatures there are in the UK."

Rejection Message for post

A sample message for rejection of a post on your group - Animals


Links: