Potential owners should investigate the source of the animal they are seeking to purchase. Where possible visit the place where the animal is bred, ask questions about diet, exercise, enrichment, social interaction. If the breeder refuses access to their home/facility – for security reasons – then buyers should insist on live/video conferencing introductions to their potential new pet, it’s surroundings and circumstances. Ask to sight documentation such as vaccination and vet visit records. If you don’t know where your new family member was bred, how can you possibly know what conditions they or their mum have been living in?
Before adopting or buying a new pet, make sure that it is the right one for you and your family. Do some research beforehand about the specific needs of the animal. Ask yourself these questions before getting a pet:
- How long will this animal live?
- What are the ongoing costs? (click the link)
- What does the pet eat?
- How much exercise does the pet need?
- How large will it become?
- How much will it cost for veterinary care?
- Do I have enough time to properly care for and clean up after the pet?
- What type of habitat does this pet need to be healthy?
- What type of exercise does this pet need?
- If you are a tenant, are pets allowed in the house, apartment, etc?
- Can I take my pet with me if I have to move to a new home?
When the time comes to sell animals it is important for the seller to recognise their responsibilities to the animals and the buyers.
The animals are relying on you to do your best to ensure their new home will be with someone who can properly care for them and will maintain that care for the remainder of their lives. You do have that animal’s future in your hands.
An important point to remember is the sale should not be about the money. Sure it is important to ensure you receive the appropriate funds for your animal – the future of that animal must always outweigh the profit.
Animal Care Australia strongly encourages buyers to view the animals in their current living conditions and to educate themselves about the animal they are about to add to their family. As a seller you have the responsibility to accommodate that where possible. Ensure you always follow covid/health and other biosecurity protocols when allowing people to visit your property.
Animal Care Australia acknowledges that you may not always want potential buyers trampling through your home for a number of reasons, including protecting your own security and to maintain biosecurity protocols or preventing potential buyers from interacting with animals that are not for sale. However, we do strongly encourage you to use current technologies and part-take in live phone/video introductions of your animals to the potential buyers. You can safely achieve this and allow the buyers to see what it is they are about to purchase without forgoing your privacy.
With the ever increasing amount of scamming that occurs this is an important aspect to consider.
It also allows you to interact and ask questions of the buyers, ensuring you feel comfortable that the animals will be going to a secure new home.
A responsible seller will:
- · ask questions of the new owner, seeking out their knowledge of the animal they want to purchase, including its dietary, housing and husbandry needs
- · provide that information especially where it is not known (provide written resources or links to credible online resources)
- · provide education that will assist the animal settle into their new home
- · offer full transparency to the buyers, ensuring they are welcome to see the animals, enclosures and living conditions (even if electronically in the first instance)
- · provide information about local community groups and clubs for the species being purchased
- ensure the animal is going to be transported in an appropriate manner – remember most states have legal requirements regarding how animals can travel. Additionally, a buyer who turns up with a flimsy insecure transport box is showing you, they do not have a proper understanding of that animal’s needs for security and minimised stress.
And the MOST important responsibility:
- provide a contact point of support for the lifetime of the animal – this may also include offering to rehome the animal in order to prevent it needing to be surrendered to a shelter/rescue group
With some species it is a requirement under legislation to offer a refund policy, especially for dogs and cats. Each state has different criteria so check your appropriate state legislation for this.