House rules for Pet Adoption is committed to helping private users and animal welfare organisations re-home animals. If you work for a recognised animal welfare organisation, please contact us for information about how we can help you get started for free on All adverts placed on the site must comply with the policies below and the site user terms & conditions. is a supporter of Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group whose aim is to ensure the welfare of animals advertised online is protected. For more information see

Policy on animal listings:

  • No animals are allowed for sale in the Pets section.
  • Pets put up for adoption on must be vaccinated and checked by a vet.
  • Dogs and Cats must be at least 8 weeks old.
  • Rabbits must be at least 6 weeks old.
  • Guinea pigs, mice and rats must be at least 4 weeks old.
  • Birds must be self-sufficient.
  • No Horses or Donkeys.
  • No "wanted" pet listings.
  • No "swaps" to be offered in the Pet adoption category. 
  • Dogs must be Microchipped
  • Ads must have a photo of the pet

From March 2016 all dogs in Ireland must be microchipped.

There are a number of websites that you can register your dog's microchip number on. This means if is lost and later found, it has a good chance of being returned to you. Dogs with a microchip can be scanned for a microchip by a vet or a pound for example. They can then enter the microchip number in an online database to find the owner’s contact details.

The four government approved databases are:-

What microchipping for dog owners/breeders

  • If you’re selling or giving a dog to a new owner, you must have the dog microchipped beforehand.
  • Microchipping can only be done by approved individuals such as vets. You’ll receive a cert to prove the dog has been microchipped.
  • While some vets will give you certification straight away, initially it may take a week to process, so make sure you get this done in plenty of time.
  • From September 2015 no one should sell a puppy without a microchipping certificate, so make sure you have your dog microchipped before placing an ad. The same goes for all dogs from March 2016.

How to get a dog microchipped

  • Book an appointment with the vet
  • You will need to bring:
    • The dog
    • Valid ID
    • Proof of address e.g. a recent utility bill
  • Your dog will be microchipped and certification issued
  • You can choose to register the dog on a database or leave this to the new owner. (A microchip without registration is worthless, as the owner can’t be traced if the dog goes missing, and is found).

Microchipping for buyers

Important dates

  • From September 2015 don’t buy or take in a new puppy without a microchip certificate.
  • From March 2016 don’t buy or re-home a dog that does not have a microchip certificate.


  • Register your dog online when you get it, using the number on the microchip certificate.
  • If the dog has already been registered, it’s really important you update your details so you’re easily contactable if your dog gets lost and is found. the chip is worth nothing unless it is registered.


Ensure that your advert is not breaching any laws and it is the responsibility of the advertiser that content advertised adheres to all policies. Failure to comply to with any of the terms and conditions will result in removal of the advert.

Advertising your pet on

  1. Visit the potential new home in order to get a feel for the environment in which your pet will be living. Explain that the pet is a part of your family and that you want to make sure it will be cared for. Screen potential homes carefully.
  2. If anyone refuses to allow you to visit their home, do not place your pet with them. Dogfighters have also been known to obtain domestic animals for baiting through "free to a good home" ads. These people are "professional" and may even bring children or family with them when picking up pets.
  3. Consider all the elements of the potential new home. Will your pet get along with small children? Is the family planning to keep the dog chained outside as a watch dog? Will the cat be kept only as a mouse catcher? Do not be shy about asking questions. Your pet's life and happiness may depend on it.
  4. Ask for a valid form of identification from the potential new owner.
  5. Finding a quality home for your pet can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Please note: 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.
  6. Always be mindful of your safety when you go to interview potential adopters or if you allow a prospective adopter to enter your home.

Forbidden breeds of dog:

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Any Fight dog breeds
  • Japanese Tosas
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • No Guard or security dogs

Exotic pets:

We reserve the right to review and remove any advert for certain species in the Pets for adoption category. We don’t feel our site is the best platform for all pets.

From the 16th August 2016, new EU regulations came into play affecting all of the EU countries including Ireland, which may have an impact on the owners of certain types of pet turtles including, but not limited to:

  • The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elgans).
  • The yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta scripta).
  • The Cumberland slider (Trachemys scripta troostii).

These cannot be given up for adoption now.


 Guideline for Adopting a pet on

  1. Contact your local SPCA or other recognised Animal Welfare Centre for tips and advice on adopting an animal.
  2. Meet with the Adverts user before agreeing to anything. Never agree to adopting a pet from someone who is unwilling to let you see where the animal is living.
  3. Confirm that the pet is vaccinated and vet checked if applicable before viewing.
  4. Check that no animals were used in excessive breeding programs or that the animal was used by a breeder.
  5. If you are ever in doubt about an adoption, please contact your local SPCA or Animal shelter and they will assist you.

Guide to responsible pet ownership:

While pet owners who treat their animals well maybe putting up their animal for adoption, the internet does make it attractive for users of unwell animals to pass them on to others. Always be cautious and believe what you see not what you are told by the previous owner. If at any stage you suspect that there is neglect of an animal or illegal activity, please report the advert to us. encourages, where possible, that all pet owners have their animals vet checked, vaccinated and neutered.

If you are responding to a pet adoption offer from a user, ask for as much information as possible about the animal’s history in terms of source, health records and behaviour. Ask for the veterinarien name that has treated the animal in the past and check with them for further details on the animal.

Guide to responsible pet ownership:

If you find any adverts that you suspect to be a illegal or in breach of animal welfare laws, please contact your local authority, An Garda Siochana or the ISPCA. In Northern Ireland, please contact the USPCA.

For further information on Pet Adoption and Pet ownership on the following sites.

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