Pets and animals
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.
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.
There is a Freegle group for moderators trying to make the choice at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Freegle_petmods/ 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 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 UK 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.
- Add local and national animal rescue centres to your links section. 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.
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