Pets and animals
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
- 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 choices as to how they can use their group, making the group is less restrictive.
- 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.
Tip: add local animal rescue centres to the links section, here are some national ones that you are welcome to include:
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)
Messages relating to lost pets are really more suited to café groups than to the main Freegle groups.