Freecycle and animals

Freecycle is a loose organisation of local groups whose aim is to prevent usable goods from prematurely ending up in rubbish dumps.

For example: you have an old TV that still works. Charity shops won’t accept electrical goods and you’d only get a fiver for it secondhand. Freecycle allows you to post a free message offering your TV to local people. You could also post a message asking for something, but only if you’ve already offered an item.

Simple enough. I help run the Wolverhampton Freecycle group. When a number of offers of animals were posted to the group, I consulted the users to see if people felt Freecycle was the right way to find a new home for an animal. The overwhelming response was against the idea of Freecycling animals. I feel strongly, as well, that an online group dedicated to recycling inanimate objects is not the right place to find a good home for an animal. The founder and I decided to alter the rules.

It’s not a simple decision, though. Here are some of the things I took into consideration:

  • Dog fighters, vivisection labs and others involved in cruelty use free offers to find animals to abuse.
  • As a Freecycle group, we could not check potential homes and so couldn’t guarantee an animal’s welfare.
  • Experienced charities exist to help people who need to rehome an animal or would like to find a pet.
  • Freecycle users may check potential homes for their suitability.
  • It would be better for an animal to find a good home through Freecycle than to end up on the streets or be put down.

I’m really keen to hear your views on this. Please use the comments form to let me know what you think.