News Next article

Adopting an animal? Can you answer “Yes” to these questions?

A checklist for budding pet owners and animal adopters.

12 March 2021

We are animal lovers and Christmas fans here at Trade Me, especially when the two come together.

Oh boy, there is nothing like a cat jumping on your face first thing on Christmas morning and waking you up with her claws.

My cat’s name is Barbara, and that reminds me, she is due to have her claws trimmed and I am due for a tetanus shot.

Sometimes issues arise where an over-ambitious buying decision results in an owner finding that pet ownership is actually more involved than they may have first thought.

For example, did you know that the average lifespan of dogs and cats is around 12 years, with some living until 15 or even 20 years – that’s a big and potentially expensive commitment, and one prospective pet owners should be prepared for when considering a pet purchase.

We have teamed up with the SPCA, Dogs New Zealand, New Zealand Cat Fancy and the New Zealand Veterinary Association to pull together a buyer checklist for companion animal listings on Trade Me.

The checklist will appear automatically on all listings in the Cats, Dogs, Rabbits & Guinea pigs categories.

Buyers of pets in these categories should be able to answer “Yes” to the following questions:

1. Can you care for a pet for its whole life?
2. Can you afford a pet?
3. Do you know how to care for a pet?
4. Do you have time to care for a pet?
5. Is your home suitable for a pet?
6. Will a pet fit into your lifestyle?
7. Is the pet you are buying healthy?

We take animal welfare extremely seriously on Trade Me and work closely with the SPCA and Animal Welfare inspectors to investigate claims of animal maltreatment.

Trade Me also actively polices complaints against members who falsely claim affiliation or endorsements with or from organisations, including those listed above.

Misleading representations can breach the Fair Trading Act and Trade Me’s terms and conditions and could result in your Trade Me membership being restricted or suspended.

Our hope is that by being front and centre with the information buyers need to consider when buying a pet, we can help Trade Me members become great pet owners and also avoid the unfortunate consequences of an ill-informed buying decision.

Trade Me would like to thank the SPCA, NZVA, Dogs New Zealand and the Cat Fancy for their input into this initiative.

Each of these organisations has further information on pet care and ownership and we recommend both sellers and buyers use the resources they have available online if they’re after any further info.

The Ministry of Primary Industries also has some great advice, including the age at which animals can be re-homed.