IPAAG (Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group) is an advisory group made up leading Irish animal welfare organisations, representatives from the veterinary profession and online websites. This major initiative will improve the welfare of the thousands of pets advertised online on a weekly basis. The group is engaging with a number of online websites and is introducing a list of IPAAG Minimum Standards for websites to ensure the welfare of the animals advertised online is protected and that any illegal activity is identified and investigated.
IPAAG compliant websites will agree to provide the necessary information to allow a buyer to make an informed choice helping consumers to make a purchase they are not likely to regret. As well as consumers choosing to use the best websites, which only host advertisements which meet the IPAAG Minimum Standards, we believe that engaged members of the public will proactively report adverts which do not meet the standards.
A number of animal welfare organisations will put in place a dedicated group of volunteer moderators who will look at advertisements (for all species) and report those that don’t meet the IPAAG Minimum Standards directly to the websites concerned. The trade association representatives on IPAAG will also answer questions about adverts that potentially infringe on good animal welfare standards.
All members of IPAAG will be committed to educating the public about the online pet sales environment, and encourage consumer awareness and cooperation to improve animal welfare in Ireland.
IPAAG check list:
- Have you considered adopting a pet from your local rescue centre first?
- If you have decided to go online to source a pet, ensure the website has signed up to the IPAAG minimum advertising standards. Visit ipaag.ie for more information, tips and advice.
- Different breeds have different requirements and temperaments. Research is important to ensure your new pet is suitable for your family and lifestyle.
- If you have already completed your research, ask your vet to recommend a reputable breeder or contact the IKC (Irish Kennel Club) for advice if you are looking to get a pet.
- Always ask to see mum and puppy interacting with each other and be concerned if you can’t.
- Are the facilities clean and does the litter of puppies appear to be alert and healthy? You should be able to handle the puppies freely under supervision.
- Ensure any new pet is old enough to leave its mother – puppies need to be at least 8 weeks old.
- Ask the breeder if they are registered under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010. If the answer is yes, ask to see the certificate issued by the Local Authority.
- Microchipping is a legal requirement for all dogs and puppies once they are 12 weeks old. A puppy must be microchipped and the ownership transferred if applicable, even if this is before 12 weeks. It is very important that the change of ownership form is complete and the buyer must produce ID and proof of address to the seller.
- Always ask for a copy of the veterinary records such as the vaccination certificate, microchipping details and treatment record for parasites. If you are unsure about it, speak to your local vet.
- For pedigree puppies, check that the Irish Kennel Club registration papers and the parents’ hereditary disease screening certificates, where appropriate, are in order.
- If you suspect a puppy has come from a commercial breeding establishment, please don’t take it out of pity. You may think you are saving a puppy but you will be fuelling the puppy farm trade demand.
- If in doubt, walk away and visit a reputable rescue centre.
- Wild or exotic species have specific needs and are for specialists. Is it dangerous, wild, or even endangered? Check it will make a suitable pet.