Gumtree Guide to Responsible Pet Ownership

While pet sellers can be reputable individuals or breeders who treat their animals well, the ease of selling pets over the Internet also makes it attractive to careless breeders and scammers. To protect yourself, you must be careful and believe only what you see, not what you are told so please arrange for an inspection. Remember that the Gumtree Pets section is NOT intended to facilitate uncontrolled breeding, irresponsible commercial pet trading, trade of any other animal for the purpose of fighting or stud services. Any ads suspected of this kind of activity and/or reported to us will be removed. Users are responsible for adhering to the applicable conditions in relation to adopting, buying, selling or listing of an ad on Gumtree.


Gumtree encourages, where possible, the adoption of pets and would encourage all pet owners to have their animals vet checked, vaccinated, desexed and microchipped.


When looking for a pet online or posting an advertisement for your animal, it is important to meet the breeder or seller and especially important to meet the pet before agreeing to anything. Since Gumtree is local to your community, this should be easy to arrange. Never adopt/buy a pet from someone who is unwilling to let you see how and where the animal is living!

If you are searching for a pet on Gumtree, either via responding to posted ads or by posting your own wanting to adopt/buy ad on the site, here are some tips and guidelines:

  1. Visit the pet seller's home or business and see how they raise and care for their animals. If the seller is a breeder and will not make the parents of a puppy or kitten animal available for inspection, there may be a problem. For instance, many unethical sellers buy animals from puppy mills and similar sources but pass them off as home-raised. If you're buying, or responding to a "free to good home" offer from an individual who is not a breeder, ask for as much information as possible about the animal's history in terms of source, health records, and behaviour information.
  2. Get references, including other customers and the seller's veterinarian. Check them out and be vigilant to ensure that the pet is in good health.
  3. Get all health guarantees and other promises in writing.
  4. If possible Pay with a credit card so you can reverse the payment if something goes wrong.
  5. Adopt/buy from sellers who live in your area. Long distances between buyers and sellers make it less likely that your complaints will be addressed. And transporting animals by air may put the animal's health at risk.
  6. Avoid sellers located outside your local Gumtree city or country. Never send money outside Ireland no matter where the seller says the animal is located.

If you are advertising your pet on Gumtree, here are some tips and guidelines:

  1. Advertise through friends, neighbours, and local veterinarians first; then try Gumtree. Your chances of finding a good home are increased when you check references with someone you know.
  2. Visit the prospective new home in order to get a feel for the environment in which, your pet will be living. Explain that the pet is part of your family and that you want to make sure he or she will be cared for. Screen potential homes carefully.
  3. Don't be fooled. If anyone refuses to allow you to visit their home, do not place your pet with them. Individuals known as "bunchers" routinely answer "free-to-good-home" ads, posing as people who want family pets when, in actual fact, they sell pets to animal dealers. Dogfighters have also been known to obtain domestic animals for baiting through "free-to-good-home" ads. These people are "professionals" who may even bring children or their mothers with them when picking up pets.
  4. Always be mindful of your own safety when you go to interview potential adopters or if you allow a prospective adopter to enter your home.
  5. Carefully consider all the elements of the new home: Will your pet get along with small children?  Will the cat be kept only as a mouse catcher? Does the family have a veterinary reference? Do not be shy about asking questions. Your pet's life and happiness may depend on it.
  6. Ask for a valid form of identification (preferably a driver's license). Record the number for your records and require the new owner to sign a contract stating the requirements of adoption upon which both parties agree. As part of the contract, require the new owner to contact you if he or she decides at some point that they must give up the pet.
  7. Have your pet neutered or spayed before he or she goes to the new home. This will make the animal more adoptable and help stop irresponsible breeding.

If your pet is chronically ill or has behavioural problems, it may be difficult to find him a suitable home. A new owner may not be willing or able to deal with these issues, and it may also be difficult for the pet to adjust to a new home. The decision to humanely euthanize such a pet should not be made without. 


Finding a quality home for your pet can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Remember: Your local animal shelter has a qualified staff trained to screen and counsel adopters. Relinquishing your pet to your local shelter may be the best option for you and your pet.


Preparing your home for a new arrival...


Moving to a new home may be stressful to your pet. So be patient and understanding and provide lots of affection. Here are some pointers to help you settle in safely and sanely:


Cats - For the first few days in your new home, it's smart to confine your cat to one room, while you work on putting the rest of the place in order. Prepare the room with your cat's bed, litter box, food and water bowls, and toys.

Now is the perfect time to make your cat an indoor-only pet. Indoor-only cats live longer and healthier lives. Resist attempts by your cat to go outdoors. If your cat hasn't established an outdoor territory, he or she is less likely to be interested in going outside. Accessories such as window perches can ease the transition. If you play with your cat and supply lots of attention, your cat should have all he or she needs indoors.


Dogs - As per our Pet Policies, we do not allow the advertisment of dogs.


Safety - Make your new home safe for all pets by being mindful of, or providing a secure place for, hazards that can...


Veterinary Care


As soon as possible, choose a veterinarian and veterinary hospital take a practice drive to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Trying to find it when you really need it can waste precious time. Also, learn basic pet first aid.

Cat Care Essentials

Although your cat may act independent and be litter-trained, he still counts on you to provide him with food, water, safe shelter, regular veterinary care, companionship, and more. Take care of these ten essentials, and you'll be guaranteed to develop a rewarding relationship with your feline companion.

  1. Outfit your cat with a collar and ID tag that includes your name, address, and telephone number. No matter how careful you are there's a chance your companion may become lost - an ID tag greatly increases the chance that your cat will be returned home safely.
  2. Follow local cat registration laws. Licensing, a registration and identification system administered by some local governments protects both cats and people in the community.
  3. Keep your cat indoors. Keeping your cat safely confined at all times is best for you, your pet, and your community.
  4. Take your cat to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. If you do not have a veterinarian, ask your local animal shelter or a pet-owning friend for a referral.
  5. Spay or neuter your pet. This will keep her healthier and will reduce the problem of cat overpopulation.
  6. Give your cat a nutritionally balanced diet, including constant access to fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what and how often to feed your pet.
  7. Train your cat to refrain from undesirable behaviours such as scratching furniture and jumping on countertops. Contrary to popular belief, cats can be trained with a bit of patience, effort, and understanding on your part.
  8. Groom your cat often to keep her coat healthy, soft, and shiny. Although it is especially important to brush long-haired cats to prevent their hair from matting, even short-haired felines need to be groomed to remove as much loose hair as possible. When cats groom themselves, they ingest a great deal of hair, which often leads to hairballs.
  9. Set aside time to play with your cat. While cats do not need the same level of exercise that dogs do, enjoying regular play sessions with your pet will provide him with the physical exercise and mental stimulation he needs, as well as strengthen the bond you share.
  10. Be loyal to and patient with your cat. Make sure the expectations you have of your companion are reasonable and remember that the vast majority of behavioural problems can be solved. If you are struggling with your pet's behaviour, contact your veterinarian or local animal shelter for advice.


Advice for Importing Ornamental Aquatic species for Private or Commercial Use


Do you intend to purchase ornamental cold water and tropical fish, molluscs or crustaceans species from suppliers outside the Republic of Ireland?


Are you and your supplier aware of the health certification requirements to import cold water and tropical ornamental aquatic species into Ireland?


Registration of Ornamental Importers is a requirement under Council Directive 2006/88/EC which was transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Health of Aquaculture Animals and Products) Regulations 2008 (SI No. 261 of 2008) and European Communities (Health of Aquaculture Animals and Products (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 398 of 2010) and 2011 (S.I. No. 430 of 2011).


To register as an ornamental importer please visit or contact the Fish Health Unit at the Marine Institute for further advice.


Gumtree is a community site and we rely on your feedback to keep the site friendly and safe. We like to think of it as you, the Gumtree community, "policing" the site and keeping out the bad guys.


So on each ad there is a "Report ad" button where you can bring an ad to our attention suspected of uncontrolled/unsafe breeding practices and we will take a look. Alternatively please inform Gumtree by clicking on "Contact Gumtree" link located bottom of our Help pages and send through all information you have about the ad (ideally the ad number), the email address of the advertiser and reasons why you believe you suspect the advertiser to be from a puppy mill so we can review and decide if we can take the ad down with the information provided.

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