The Hot Wire Pets Code of Practice
These policies are based on RSPCA principles
All ads posted in The Hot Wire pets section must comply with The Hot Wire Pets Policy and this Pets Code of Practice set out below. We understand some regions have different laws, please check with the relevant governing body in your state for further clarification. Any ads found to be breaching applicable laws and reported to us for breaching these laws will be removed from The Hot Wire.
Advertising a pet on The Hot Wire
Docked tail pets are not allowed on The Hot Wire, this is a prohibited practice and The Hot Wire does not accept ads of this nature.
Age restrictions apply for certain types of pets advertised and animals have to be of a certain age before they are adoptable/available for rehoming/sale, (although posting your ad before they are 8 weeks old is ok).
- All young animals should be self-sufficient – i.e. they must be able to feed themselves independently
- Dogs: must be at least 8 weeks old
- Cats: must be at least 8 weeks old
- Rabbits: must be at least 6 weeks old
- Guinea Pigs: must be at least 4 weeks old
- Mice and Rats: must be at least 4 weeks old
- Birds: must be fully-feathered
- Ferrets: must be at least 10 weeks old
The following breeds of dog cannot be advertised on The Hot Wire:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Pit Bull Terriers
- Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dogs)
- Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian fighting dogs)
- Japanese Tosas
- MiPerro de Presa Canario
Adopting/Buying a pet on The Hot Wire
- Meet the poster of the ad and see the place where the animal is being housed before agreeing to anything. Since The Hot Wire is local to your community, this should be easy to arrange. Also, If you’re buying a young animal, like a puppy, kitten or baby rabbit etc, make sure you meet the mother (and father too, if he’s around) to check they’re happy and healthy and that the breeder is providing all their animals with a high standard of housing and care. Never buy a pet from someone who is unwilling to let you see how and where the animal is living!
It is important to ensure the animal is from a legitimate breeding/housing site. Irresponsible breeders (e.g. puppy farmers) may use a fake house as a shop front so prospective buyers don’t see the poor conditions the animals are kept in. If you have any concerns about an animal advertised on The Hot Wire please report it to us. You should also report this to your local RSPCA Inspectorate.
- If you are paying for a pet, never mail a cheque or use payment services like Bidpay, Western Union or Money Gram. It is our belief that these forms of funds transfer are favoured by fraudsters. Be particularly wary of any seller who demands a deposit prior to seeing the pet. Meet the seller and animal in person, and pay cash.
- Visit your local RSPCA or other reputable animal rescue organization for tips on identifying responsible practices.
- There are two types of registration for breeders:
Pedigree or purebred dog breeders are often referred to as ‘registered breeders’ when they are members of a breed club or association that operates a stud book or register. The term may also be used to refer to someone who is registered with their local council as a breeder (also called a ‘recognized’ breeder).
Requirements for dog breeders vary from state to state. We recommend you call the relevant local council to confirm if breeders have to be registered with them and whether there is a code of practice or guidelines that the breeder should be following. If the answer is yes, you can ask the breeder for their registration details and what guidelines they follow.
If the breeder is ‘registered’ as a member of a non-government association, e.g. State Canine council, they should also provide their membership details.
Note that being a ‘registered’ breeder does not necessarily mean a breeder meets good animal welfare standards. The only way to be sure is to visit the place where the animal was bred to check out the living conditions and to meet the mother dog (and father if he’s there) to check they’re happy and healthy.
- Check that the breeder/seller is responsible. This is important because there are a number of serious animal welfare issues that can be associated with breeding including puppy farms.
A puppy farm (also known as a puppy factory or puppy mill) is an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioral, social and/or physiological needs. Puppy farms are usually large-scale commercial operations, but inadequate conditions may also exist in small volume breeding establishments which may or may not be run for profit.
Puppies and breeding animals on puppy farms live in appalling conditions. Dogs are often kept in overcrowded and filthy environments. Breeding animals may be confined permanently in small cages, continually bred from and never allowed out for a walk, to go to the toilet in a separate space, play or express normal behaviors.
Be aware of other welfare problems that can be associated with breeding including inherited diseases, inbreeding and exaggerated physical features.
- Buyers of cats and dogs should expect to be provided with documentation confirming microchipping, vaccination status and vet check. It’s important that the breeder/seller is permanently recorded on the microchip register so they can be identified and traced from each individual cat or dog
- If in doubt contact your local RSPCA
- For tips and advice when considering adopting or buying a pet, please see our Guide to Responsible Pet Ownership.