How we maintain a safe environment for buyers and sellers

As the UK's largest platform of its type, helping 2,500 pets find loving homes each day and with up to 7 million monthly online visitors, Pets4Homes prioritises animal welfare above all else and is committed to ensuring a safe rehoming process. We are more than just a marketplace. We are a powerful community of animal-lovers committed to animal welfare, and have a zero tolerance approach to anyone who does not share the good motivations of the majority of our users. In the event of any concerns, however small, report them!  
We are proud to go above and beyond any equivalent site in the UK in terms of the safeguards we apply to protect buyers and sellers. We have regularly updated ID verification processes and strict listing rules for advertisers (and their adverts), a one-click way to report concerns, an in-platform chat function, a Safe Deposit scheme which ensures that money does not change hands until buyer and seller are happy, as well as a 24-hour Trust & Safety Team dedicated to resolving concerns. Every advert is accompanied by guidelines which a buyer and seller must follow to ensure a safe rehoming, or risk being permanently banned from the platform.

Our results speak for themselves. On average, 99.4% of the daily animal rehomings arranged through Pets4Homes are successful and pass without incident. Of the 0.6% which involve a subsequent discussion with our Trust & Safety Team, only a small proportion warrant further action. In the rare instances that a rogue seller is suspected, we work alongside animal welfare organisations and the authorities in investigation and prosecution.

Do we check the adverts placed on our Site?

Yes, our automated functions help us detect fraud and suspicious content. We also manually approve the majority of adverts that are placed on Pets4Homes. 

We are transparent about the fact that a significant share of adverts submitted are rejected and never go live, having been halted by our automated and manual processes. Most rejections are due to failing to fully adhere to our listing criteria, rather than any attempted criminality on the part of the poster.
We also benefit from - and are grateful for - an extra level of vigilance provided by our users who raise concerns about adverts, or report back to us after a visit to a seller which has proved unsatisfactory in some way.
We work hand-in-hand with animal welfare organisations and the authorities, but we are not an enforcement agency, and cannot visit an advertiser’s home. Therefore, beyond our checks and safeguards, which we know are the best in our category, we are transparent that it is the buyers who meet the sellers and must make the ultimate purchasing decision. We provide guidelines to ensure that a satisfactory outcome is achieved. 

Do you prevent puppy farmers or dodgy breeders abusing your site?

Yes, we do our utmost to prevent puppy farmers from trying to use our website. We do this by monitoring the number of adverts we allow each advertiser to place, and check an advertiser’s local authority breeders licenses to make sure they are valid. 

Just because a breeder has a valid council license to breed dogs does not mean we will automatically allow them to use our service. If we believe someone to be a large commercial breeder and not looking after their dogs, we will prevent them from using our platform.
We also work closely with local councils and animal welfare organisations to prevent known puppy farmers from using our website. Our Pets4Homes.co.uk website was founded for pet owners, responsible hobby breeders and rescue centres, and we have a zero tolerance approach to irresponsible individuals attempting to abuse our platform.

What kind of adverts do you not allow on the site?

We have a list of standards we have created that we stick to when approving or rejecting adverts. You can read them in our Terms and Conditions here. We also follow the Pet Advertising Advisory Groups (PAAGS's) minimum standards which you can find here.

How might I have an unsatisfactory rehoming experience?

On average 99.4% of the daily animal rehomings through Pets4Homes are successful and pass without incident. Our automated and manual analysis of adverts ensures the vast majority of listings are legitimate, and our safeguards ensure that advertisers have only the best intentions. The vigilance of our community in reporting adverts provides further security.

However, when things go wrong, it is typically because a buyer - in their understandable desire to provide a home to a pet - has unfortunately disregarded the guidelines that are prominently displayed throughout our site (and besides every advert). As they are the ones who will meet their future pet (and its seller), only they have the power and responsibility to follow these guidelines and ensure a successful outcome.

The following are examples of the Pets4Homes guidelines that are most commonly disregarded by buyers in cases that have resulted in an unsatisfactory rehoming experience:

  • Avoid moving conversation with a seller outside of the Pets4Homes in-platform chat function.

  • Don’t send money unless through Pets4Homes Safety Deposit service

  • Never buy an animal that you haven’t seen in the flesh, at its home. Don’t accept any excuses for why this can’t be arranged! 

  • If intending to buy a puppy or young animal, be sure to have seen it with its mother, and never collect a pet below the minimum age requirement for rehoming

  • Check the health of the pet and ask for the microchip details when rehoming a dog.

  • Sign a contract and arrange for all the paperwork to be sent prior to collection.

  • Most importantly, if you have any concerns, walk away and report the seller!

If you need further assistance

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