UsedRegina.com is trying to make the internet safer for animals by banning breeders and people profiting off the sale of animals from selling on its website.
The ban encompasses all of UsedEverything’s sites, the parent company for sites like UsedRegina.com and UsedSaskatoon.com.
The intent is to stop puppy mills and disreputable breeders from using their sites.
Elizabeth Dutton, president of UsedEverything, said they’re a family company, and for a lot of people, pets are a part of that family.
“We realized we weren’t providing a safe environment for people to find a pet, or for those animals,” said Dutton.
Before implementing the ban last year, the sites put in tighter regulations around the sale of animals. Dutton said it didn’t work.
The ban was put in place this week. It doesn’t extend to people trying to re-home pets.
“We recognize that a dog can sometimes get out, may not have been spayed or neutered, and there is a litter and people are looking to re-home their pets. We also recognize that due to circumstances people have to find new homes. So we want to be able to help people do that,” said Dutton.
The Regina Humane Society is excited about the change, calling it a victory.
“The internet has become a safe haven for puppy mills, and other unethical and disreputable pet breeders to sell their animals, and it really sends a strong message that it’s unacceptable to exploit these pets by breeding them and selling them online for profit,” explained Lisa Koch, executive director of the Regina Humane Society.
Koch said the Canadian Federation of Humane Society has guidelines on its website to help people choose a good breeder.
Koch said one sign a breeder isn’t reputable, is that they’re advertising on a classifieds site. She explained responsible breeders are interested in the animal’s lineage, health, and welfare.
“Reputable breeders, their animals are not bred until they have waiting, approved, screened families for their animals.”
To help enforce the ban, the sites have a live, in-house moderation team that tracks every one of their pet ads. They can track trends, and see when one person has multiple litters or are using the same photo several times.
Dutton said she knows this won’t solve the problem of puppy mills, but hopes that it will help.
– With files from CJME’s Adriana Christianson
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