Ban Animal Gumtree Sales

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As a rescue group working to save abused, neglected and abandoned animals we see one major problem with our system. That problem is Gumtree.

Used as a platform for easy personal sales you can find and buy pretty much anything, including animals, from Gumtree. Domestic dogs and cats, farm animals, reptiles, you name it! Some come at a fee, some labelled as “free to good home”. This form of sale is not only sad for the animals not being properly rehomed with families suited to their needs, but it is also dangerous and a huge access point for fighting rings, particularly for dogs.

Dog fighting rings, whilst illegal in most countries, are still a prominent threat. Enforcement varies and underground dog fighting still happens far too often, with devastating results for the dogs. The most common outcome for dogs in these circumstances is a torturous death in the ring, those that make it out of the ring alive are kept in appalling conditions with no access to food, water or shelter, and many are left to suffer horrific injuries, likely dying slowly and alone. There are an estimated 150 illegal dog fighting rings in Australia, and that number could be much higher.

In 2019, a Queensland man was sentenced to six months in jail, fined $800 for the neglect of 2 out of 20 dogs, and ordered to pay the RSPCA for the medical services they provided plus their legal fees. This man was breeding and supplying dogs to secret fighting rings and leaving injured dogs to suffer and die. He served 1 month of his sentence before being released on parole and had two dogs returned to his care.

The result from this single case just isn’t enough to deter these criminals from having easy access to dogs and continuing to use them as bait for their fighting rings and training. Not even a puppy is safe from these tortuous events where they are slaughtered if they don’t ‘make the cut’. It’s evident that dog fighting is a brutal and a growing problem in Australia.

In addition to dog fighting rings, there is also an increase in surrenders to the pound due to poor rehoming. Animals (especially domestic pets) need to be assessed and tested to best learn about their personality and behaviour. Abandoning this process greatly heightens the risk of placing an animal with the wrong owner and the surfacing of issues like fighting, escaping, destruction of property in the home etc. More often than not these less favourable behaviours result in the animal being surrendered again. The more animals that are rehomed by rescue groups, the less will be taken to the pounds for euthanasia.

Not all people are fit to own pets, nor can afford to own pets. Rescue groups work tirelessly to sift through these types of people to ensure the highest level of safety and care is provided for every animal. Most neglect cases come from people that do not have the financial stability to care for their pets.

Animals advertised on Gumtree as ‘free to a good home’ enable people that don’t have the income to support a pet to get one anyway, inevitably condemning them to a life of misery.

Banning the sales of all animals on gumtree will dramatically change the future of our surrendered animals! It will ensure that all animal rehoming must go through a registered rescue group and will hopefully be a huge step in the right direction in ending the abuse and neglect of animals. If this doesn’t go ahead then the senseless rehoming continues, and more lives are at risk of inadequate care, neglect, and abuse.