Deciding to get a new puppy shouldn’t be like buying a washing machine or desk, but the unregulated sale of pets online means they’re treated no better than used furniture.
Can you imagine trading your mobile phone for a new puppy? Or swapping a golden retriever for a Chihuahua? What about buying four marmoset monkeys — only to return them after they wreck your home because they belong in the wild? Online, all of these transactions can be done with the click of a button — and that’s not how it should be.
Online pet advertising in its present form appears to allow almost anything, from underage animals, banned breeds and illegally imported or endangered species to animals offered in exchange for inanimate objects.
Pet purchasing standards exist to ensure that no one accidentally ends up with a sick, injured, dangerous or illegal animal. But they’re not just in place for the sake of keeping people safe — animals deserve to be treated with more respect and care than an old mattress or a gently used dining room table.