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Pets Online, a Note from

In light of recent press regarding pets on online classifieds sites, would like to address the queries and comments that have come our way.

We are so appreciative to have users that are genuinely concerned with the welfare of animals, just like we are, and we are proud to be given the chance to talk about how we take measures to prevent the maltreatment of animals in all of our communities. Together, we can help fight puppy mills and pet over population at the source – if you see any listings on our sites that you feel are inappropriate, please use the “report this ad” button and our Moderation Team will investigate the ad and take action if necessary.

In the spirit of transparency, below we have copied a message from our Director of Marketing, that she recently sent to a concerned person:

At, we pride ourselves on being different from other online classified sites. Here we have a real live Moderation Team that monitors our sites 24/7. Our head office is in Victoria, but we have staff across the country in different time zones, so that we can catch and respond to inappropriate ads as quickly as possible. We use numerous techniques to protect our sites from inappropriate content, especially puppy mills, irresponsible backyard operations and non-recognised rescue groups. is absolutely against puppy mills and the unethical treatment of animals. We believe we’re leaders in maintaining a family-friendly online environment that discourages scammers, spam emails, adult content and puppy mills. Our site provides a voice for many reputable rescue societies and animals in need of a caring forever home. We are very active in all of our communities and this includes building relationships with societies aiming to discourage the mistreatment of animals.

Here are just some of the ways we moderate our site:

  • Keyword filters are set up so that when someone uses a “trigger” word in their ad, the ad is automatically held until it can be reviewed to ensure it’s legitimate
  • We monitor the site for stock photography of animals or listings that contain multiple animals per ad
  • We look for people posting multiple ads
  • Our users are very proud of our community built sites and our users will report any ads that seems suspicious (all ad listing have a “report this ad” button on them)
  • We know the animal rescue operations that use our sites and build relationships with them
  • We actively monitor and check on animal ads, especially ones that are listed for free

What do we do when we’re suspicious of an ad?

  • We pull the ad down immediately
  • We attempt to make contact with the ad poster to determine the true nature of the ad
  • We may inform the police or animal rescue partners if necessary (we’ve been a key player in many rescues)
  • We may ban the user/API from our sites

We help promote best practices for adopting a pet and we work with groups like the Just Love Animals Society in Victoria. Most recently we sponsored Pet-a-Palooza: their goal is to stop puppy mills and we created this education piece with their assistance.

We also include guidelines around best practices at the top of our pet categories.

On a more personal note, I’ve rescued a beagle and most recently a cat from postings I found on Both of the owners were in horrible situations and loved their pets very much, but they chose our site because they wanted to meet the person adopting their animals to know their pets would be well cared for. I keep in touch with my cat’s previous owner and send her pictures. I wish they didn’t that feel finding new homes for their pets was the only option, but I’m really glad I was able to give both Randi and MoJo a new loving home.

If you have further suggestions or ideas we welcome you to share them with us. We always have open ears for those users who genuinely care as much as we do. If you ever pay us a visit, you will be sure to meet some of the biggest animal lovers in the city. This is part of what motivates us to a higher level of moderation than our competitors.

Please send us your comments and questions by emailing

Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

5 Responses to “Pets Online, a Note from”


Hello Amber,

This was a great message, and I thank you for posting it. I am on UsedVictoria daily and report many ads that are suspected scams about pets, and it’s great to know that you folks are so committed to protecting both our neighbors and our animals. Thanks again!
Karen Bragg


    Amber R Bosma

    Thank you Karen, I appreciate that, we all do. Thanks, Amber


I have emailed you in the past and the response is that it’s not illegal to sell puppies so there’s nothing wrong with the ads …so I’m confused. All or most of the breeders on your site are backyard breeders that are clogging up shelters when the dogs end up there or by preventing a buyer from rescuing a dog because they’re buying one. Are you going to take all the breeder ads down? You guys have the ability to make a huge difference in the rescue and adoption situation here as there’s no other place people go for online classifieds here. Thankfully Craigslist has the sense to ban all pet sales. Often “reputable breeders” are just a front for puppy mill owners so there is no way to tell. How about you just ban all pet sales other than rehoming for free and adoptions?



    Thank you for sharing your concerns and suggestions. We welcome and appreciate user feedback and always take it into serious consideration. Our policies and safeguards regarding pet postings are continually evolving and we’re working on even stricter measures.

    You mention Craigslist not allowing the sale of pets. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but they do allow the listing of pets through what they call a “re-homing” or an “adoption” fee. If you take a look at their listings, you will see pets listed under this guise.

    We do believe our free classified service is a great benefit to many rescue agencies and shelters, giving them a way to reach over a million users each month.

    We’ll keep you and all our users updated on changes in regards to our pet listings as they occur.


This is a great news that you are trying to filter the scams and give a chance for free ads for adoptions. Thanks


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