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Animals

5 Common Misconceptions about Pets at Preloved

5 Common Misconceptions about Pets at Preloved

5 Common Misconceptions about Pets at Preloved

At Preloved, we take animal welfare very seriously. Whether you’re looking to rehome a pet or welcome one into your family, we offer endless advice to help you make those vital decisions. We always aim to ensure that our community has the best information with regards to pet care and horse and livestock advice. We provide knowledge to our community on the preparation and commitment involved with giving pets at Preloved a forever home. It is our mission to combat poor animal welfare online, replicated in the Preloved Pet Pledge, putting our furry friends at the forefront of everything we do.

Yet, despite our passion for animals and all of the initiatives we have put in place to protect them, our intentions are often misunderstood.  We want to lay out all of the misconceptions, untruths, and ill-informed statements that we have experienced about Pets at Preloved. This will give our members and wider communities a greater understanding of how we continuously work to make sure our site is a safe place for pets, with actions ALWAYS informed by various animal welfare charities and organisations.

pets at preloved


1. “Preloved acts in breach of Lucy’s Law”

After Lucy’s Law came into place in April, a small minority seem to be under the impression that the sale of kittens and puppies is now completely banned or illegal in the UK. Despite this, Lucy’s Law actually targets third party sellers only. It states:

“Anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth.”

This means that on sites like Preloved, a kitten or puppy under 6 months has to be shown with its mother. However, this has been an integral part of the Preloved process for quite some time already, even before Lucy’s Law came into effect. As a marketplace, we have always ensured that there are no third-party sellers on our site. As a standard requirement when making a new advert on Preloved, sellers must select an option to say that Mum can be viewed. If they aren’t able to do so, then the advert simply won’t be published. This is something that our team is always monitoring, and should anyone report a breach of this requirement, our internal investigation team would look into the reported member immediately. We urge you to be very wary if other sites you use away from Preloved do not state this information on all listings.


2. “Preloved doesn’t take Animal welfare seriously”

untruths about pets at preloved

These harmful comments are the ones that cause most concern and distress amongst every member of the Preloved team, who are TRULY passionate about and dedicated to animal welfare. Unlike the above comments, we do not share the same worry or concern regarding the welfare of the animals on Preloved, because we are aware of the relentless work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure every animal is handled as responsibly as possible. Unfortunately, a small minority of people don’t see this dedication and commitment on the surface.

For example, we screen ALL animal adverts to ensure:

  • They are not being sold at too young an age
  • They are not controlled under dangerous dog legislation
  • They are not listed as a dangerous wild animal
  • They are not an endangered species
  • They have not been illegally docked

We have also put together a large amount of educational material on animal welfare and promote this content heavily with adverts throughout the classified pages. For example, our adverts encouraging owners to neuter and microchip their pets have been viewed millions of times.


3. “Preloved doesn’t follow government laws or new regulations surrounding animals.”

Preloved is proud to say that we are fully engaged with PAAG (the Pet Advertising Advisory Group). The Preloved site meets ALL the industry standards set by PAAG and continues to regulate adverts according to these standards. Preloved sees the industry standards set by PAAG as a minimum requirement.

We also work closely with and are always informed by the information provided by Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). In March, we teamed up with Defra to take part in their “Petfished” campaign, aimed at tackling deceitful pet sellers. This helped to increase our members’ understanding of how we actively spot and block deceitful sellers. Partnering with the government department ensured we could make a difference and help to stop the fuelling of this awful trade.

Several years ago, we worked with the government to change breeder requirements from 5 to 3 litters a year. On Preloved, members advertising 3 or more litters of kittens or puppies will be considered a commercial breeder, and therefore require Preloved Business membership in order to advertise.

animal welfare organisations


4. “Preloved enables puppy farming”

We actually require those listing 3 or more litters a year, or those who operate a breeding business, to provide their breeder licence details issued by their local authority. They MUST obtain copies of the document for our records. Those that do not provide this are not permitted to list on the Preloved site. Should we be informed by local councils or enforcement authorities that a breeder’s licence has been revoked, the person would be banned from listing on our site. We also do not allow animals to be sold at too young an age, the sale of pregnant animals, nor animals not yet born, and we do not allow animals to be swapped. We do not accept advertisements for puppies for sale under a pet shop licence alone. Only those with a valid dog breeding licence can advertise multiple litters of puppies on Preloved.

Our sophisticated technology is able to detect linked accounts with different identities in order to prevent abuse of our system. This way we can trace any potential deceitful sellers and stop them from harmful activity.

Of course, there are buyers and sellers that don’t have an animal’s best interests at heart but in our experience, these are the minority. We find that, if people report incidents where they believe animals are being treated cruelly, we are able to exclude them from using Preloved in the future.


5. “Why don’t you just ban the buying and selling of Pets on Preloved?”

And with this, we will leave you with a statement from PAAG

paag statement


We hope that having heard some of the background about pets at Preloved, you will agree that we are doing everything we can to make our site a responsible place to sell animals. We ALWAYS have the animals’ best interests at heart.

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Zoe Allison

Zoe Allison

Writer and expert