Animal Policies

We monitor for and permanently ban vendors who attempt to post adverts that do not comply with the minimum standards, so please ensure you fully comply with our policies before placing your ad.

If ads are posted on DoneDeal in breach of this policy we reserve the right to remove them from the website without giving notice to the advertiser or refunding any fee paid.

General animal policies

There are some basic policies every advertiser of animals for sale or re-homing must abide by. We also have more detailed policies for certain types of animal. Read this first.

If ads are posted on DoneDeal in breach of this policy we reserve the right to remove them from the website without giving notice to the advertiser or refunding any fee paid.

Throughout our policy we refer to companion animals. A companion animal is another name for a pet. We have a seperate page listing companion animals and whether they can be advertised on DoneDeal.

If you are advertising an animal for sale on DoneDeal you must comply with the following policies:

One type or breed of animal per ad We only allow one type of animal or breed of animal per ad on DoneDeal. This ensures that animals appear in the correct search and helps rehome them quicker.

Your ad must include

Photo Your ad must include a photograph of any companion animal or equine animal you are advertising.

Type of ads not allowed

No Christmas/Valentines/Easter/gift pets Pets are for life, not only for Christmas. Therefore ads must not contain any references that encourage people to buy a pet specifically for a gift e.g. Christmas or other seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day or Easter.

Young animals No animal (other than a foal accompanied by its mother) should be advertised for transfer to a new owner before it is weaned.

No pets to be advertised under 8 weeks old As a classified ads website we have decided that in the best interest of the animals that no pet/animal should be advertised for sale before it reaches eight weeks old. This is eight months for foals.

Pregnant animals Adverts offering pregnant animals (excluding equines) for sale are not allowed. We advise that sellers contact an appropriate animal welfare organisation for advice instead (e.g. IHWT for equines, ISPCA for other animals).

No stud/in season ads We do not allow ads offering stud animals, animals in season or animals ‘for rent’, or ‘loan’ in the pet section. Note that adverts offering horses for loan/stud may be acceptable.

Transport You cannot advertise delivery of an animal through the postal system, national or international. Transport of any animal must comply with relevant legislation.

Tagging All sheep and goats must be tagged in accordance with the official NSIS/NGIS before they leave the holding on which they were born.

All sellers and buyers of sheep or goats must be registered with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine as Sheep/Goat Keepers.

All movements of sheep and goats must be recorded and notified to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as required by the NSIS and NGIS.

There are no exceptions to these requirements for pet lambs or goats.

 Guides to the NSIS and NGIS are available on the DAFM website at under Animal Health and Welfare/ Animal Identification and Movement(AIM/CMMS).

Jump to policy sections relevant to you

I am advertising

a dog

an equine animal

a cat

an exotic animal/another animal 

Animal welfare

I want to know more about DoneDeal and animal welfare

What is IPAAG

I want to read the Government legislation

I want to report a puppy farm

I am buying an animal

Bring me to the buyers guides


Horse & pony

Microchipping and passports By law all horses must be sold with a passport. A horse must be microchipped in order to get a passport. By placing your ad you are acknowledging you are aware that equine animals for sale must be microchipped.

Broken/ridden age We do not accept horse or pony ads where the horse or pony has been broken or ridden under the age of three.

For sale age Foals should be at least 8 months old before they are advertised on the site. Mares with foal at foot may be offered for sale.

No foster mares We do not allow ads for foster mares

Horse Factory ads As of 7th August 2012 we no longer accept Horse Factory ads.

For information on horse welfare please visit the Irish Horse Welfare Trust and ISPCA.

Read our guide for buyers

Read our equine health guide


Age No kittens under 8 weeks old. We do not allow ANY cat ads on our site for kittens under 8 weeks old as the sale of kittens before this age is not recommended by veterinary surgeons.

Other pets

‘Exotic’ animals are defined as species not normally domesticated in Ireland. We don't feel our site is the best platform for the sale of such specialised pets. While we allow ads for some animals we reserve the right to review and remove if necessary ads for certain species. Due to the lack of specific legislation or regulation in this area DoneDeal reserves the right to refuse to advertise animals on a case by case basis. Read our full list of allowed companion animals.

Age Generally speaking animals should not be weaned from its mother before 8 weeks old and should not be advertised for sale before it is 8 weeks old ie when it is ready to be re-homed.

Animal care advice If you are advertising an exotic animal you must include information on the care of that species in your ad. Some exotic or wild animals are by definition less domesticated, these animals may have needs that far exceed their owners’ capabilities.The average household does not understand how to look after some exotic or wild animals, which need specialised habitats in which to live a decent quality of life. It is hard to replicate the natural habitat of wild animals and even when it is done well, in many cases it may still not be adequate.

EU Wildlife Trade Regulations We do not allow ads advertising for sale any species covered by EU Wildlife Trade Regulations Annex A and listed by CITES Appendix I for sale without a valid Article 10 Certificate.

Marmosets and Lemurs We do not allow ads for non-human primates such as marmosets and lemurs as they are not suitable to be kept as pets due to their complex needs.

Live feeding We do not allow ads for live animals that are intended to be fed live to other animals (e.g. ban adverts for live mice to be fed to snakes).

Dog Policy

DoneDeal is committed to providing the best welfare standards to animals advertised on our site, therefore we have created a number of policies for specific types of dogs. These are reviewed on an ongoing basis and are subject to change.

No puppies under 8 weeks old We do not allow ANY dog ads on our site for puppies under 8 weeks old as the sale of pups before this age is not recommended by veterinary surgeons. Pups MUST be 8 weeks or over at time of posting ad for the ad.

Only 1 breed of dog per ad We limit the number of dog ads that you can have on DoneDeal at any one time. We make exceptions on the number of ads allowed only for commercial breeders who clearly mark themselves as trade advertisers. Each ad should be for only one breed i.e. one litter of pups or one adult dog.

No stud dogs or bitches in season Given the number of dogs in Local Authority pounds and rescue centers seeking adoption, we have decided not to allow the advertisement of dogs for stud or bitches in season.

No “Christmas Pets” To promote responsible pet care, and to deter ‘impulse purchases’, we do not allow the advertisement of pets specifically for Christmas. We believe that it is essential that consumers make informed decisions, understanding the long term responsibilities involved in pet ownership. Therefore ads must not contain any references that encourage people to buy a pet specifically for Christmas or other seasonal events like Valentines.

No dog swaps We do not feel it is appropriate to swap a dog for another dog or similar. To promote responsible pet ownership we will remove any ads that do this. If you feel you cannot care for your pet any longer please take a look in our Adoption Centre to see if there is a Rescue centre near you that might re-home your pet for you or place an ad for sale in our Dogs Section.

No shipping/delivery It is important to see a puppy’s parents and the breeder’s facilities before buying a pet. Therefore we do not accept any ads that involve shipping or delivery of animals.

Microchipping policies

Microchipping obligations  By law, from September 2015 all pups must be microchipped and by March 2016 all dogs must be microchipped before being sold or transferred to a new owner. By placing a dog ad you are acknowledging you need to comply with the terms and conditions/your legal obligations to have a dog microchipped before transfer to a new owner and to provide a certificate of microchipping to that individual

No ads for microchipping services The Veterinary Council of Ireland advise that the implantation of a microchip is considered to be an act of veterinary medicine and as such should only be carried out by registered persons (vets or nurses). Therefore we do not allow any ads advertising this product/service and would recommend people that would like to have their dog microchipped contact their vet directly. Dogs advertised by Animal Welfare Groups for Adoption are already microchipped at the time of adoption. From time to time, welfare groups and Veterinary Practices run discounted microchipping events, these will be advertised on the DoneDeal site.

Policy on tail docking and ear cropping

It is DoneDeal's policy not to place advertisements for dogs whose tails have been docked, or ears have been cropped.

2014 tail docking Government regulation Following the introduction in March 2014 of The Animal Health and Welfare Act, 2013, the Irish Government introduced regulations in relation to tail docking. The Prohibition on Tail Docking and Dew Claws (Dogs) Regulations 2014 regulates the limited circumstances under which a dog may have its tail docked.

Ban on tail docking and ear cropping for cosmetic purposes Under the Act, tail docking of dogs for cosmetic purposes is being banned outright, a move that will cover most dogs in the country.

Tail docking for working dogs The Prohibition on Tail Docking and Dew Claws (Dogs) Regulations 2014 will allow tail docking and dew claw removal in very limited cases. This is basically for specific hunting breeds (pointer/retrievers, spaniels and terriers) where there is evidence that the individual dog will be used for that specific purpose. Where justified, the procedure may only be carried out by a veterinary practitioner or veterinary nurse. This closely matches the approach in Northern Ireland.

Read our 2011 blog post which gives a background to tail docking.

Policy on Puppy Farming

Done Deal is committed to doing everything it can to deter puppy farmers and dealers from advertising on our website.

As an organisation and individuals we love dogs in all shapes and sizes and continually strive to improve the welfare of all dogs. We retain the right to make judgment as to whether an advertiser or user of the website is a puppy farmer or dealer.

We reserve the right to monitor ads on and we reserve the right to report suspected unregulated puppy farms/farmers or dealers to the Gardai, PSNI, the ISPCA and/or any other competent authority or organisation that we feel is appropriate.

If you have six or more breeding female dogs at your premises, please note you are required to be inspected under the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 and that compliance may be checked with local authorities.

As per the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 a commercial breeder can breed "from" 6 breeding bitches and in some cases up to 200 bitches are registered.


What you can do about suspected puppy farms Your help is much appreciated in helping us keep our site free from unscrupulous puppy farmers or dealers. We assist all authorised agencies with information about ads, breeds, contact details, and any other information that helps their investigation. If you find any ads that you suspect are from unregulated puppy farmers or dealers, please contact your local authority, Garda Síochána or the ISPCA. In Northern Ireland, please contact the PSNI or Ulster SPCA immediately.

Tell the approved inspector where you found the ad – and we will assist them in their investigation.

In the Republic of Ireland from January 1st 2012, the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 was enacted. This legislation covers the keeping, breeding and sale of dogs.

Animal Welfare Helpline: Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

This helpline is manned from 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). At all other times it will divert to a recorded message, and messages left will be monitored regularly.

Phone: 1850 211 990 or 01 607 2379


Policy on Dog Fighting and Pit Bull Terriers

Pit Bull Terriers Following investigation and discussion with relevant experts, we have determined as policy that Pit Bulls or related breeds cannot be advertised on DoneDeal. While dog fighters are the minority among pit bull owners, in Ireland, Pit Bulls are the breed of choice for dog fights. Pit Bulls that are used in fights are brutalised and abused and many are maimed or killed during the fight.

Dog fighting Although dog fighting is illegal in Ireland (The Protection of Animals Act 1911 as amended 1965), it is still unfortunately a significant problem in Ireland. Animal welfare (fighting, baiting, abuse, neglect etc.) is often designated as an 'indicator crime' and the correlation between abuse of animals and other forms of anti-social and criminal behaviour is well recognised. We at DoneDeal grew up with dogs as close and loving family members, and we believe that dogs make a lovely addition and company to any family. Therefore we would find it unacceptable to think that DoneDeal is used by people involved with dog fights.

We appeal to members of the public with any information about dog fighting activities to please contact the Gardai or the ISPCA in the Republic of Ireland or the PSNI or Ulster SPCA in Northern Ireland.

American Bulldog, English Bull Terriers Some unscrupulous breeders have used other related breed names (e.g. American Bulldog, English Bull Terriers, etc) to advertise Pit Bulls. Use a good photo to easily distinguish that it is not a Pit Bull. If you are advertising pups, make sure to include at least the bitch in the photo, to avoid confusion.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers Some breeds may be visually similar to the Pit Bull, for example the Staffordshire Bull Terrier or crosses and strains. As these breed names are sometimes used by unscrupulous dealers to advertise Pit Bulls we have decided not to allow these breeds on DoneDeal. We do however allow our Animal Welfare Partners to advertise Staffordshire Bull Terriers for adoption.

Other dog-related restrictions

No dogs for illegal hunting Unfortunately there is still illegal hunting of wild animals carried out in Ireland. Those responsible for these crimes believe it is acceptable to inflict untold suffering on dogs and wildlife in the form of entertainment. Therefore we do not accept ads that imply that the dog could/should be used for such activity. We do not accept ads that mention or imply ‘digging; or ‘lamping’.

No Coursing ads Hares are protected under the Wildlife Acts, enforced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the hunting of them is illegal. As we have no way of monitoring licensed or unlicensed coursing events, we have decided not to allow any reference to coursing.  This is to ensure that the above Wildlife Act is adhered to.

No guard or security dogs Ownership and registration of Guard or Security Dogs are covered by the Control of Dogs act 1986 (Guard Dogs) Regulations 1988. As we have no way of monitoring registered or unregistered Guard or Security Dogs, so we have decided not to allow the sale of Guard or Security Dogs on the site. This is to ensure that the above Act is adhered to. We hope our users appreciate that we are doing this in the interest of the dogs.

We have these rules to prevent the small number people who abuse dogs from advertising on DoneDeal. Unfortunately this means that genuine dog owners cannot advertise pets that breach our Dog Policy.

Status of this Policy

This policy forms part of our Agreement with you concerning use of our Website, all of which you should read carefully before you start to use this Website. By accessing and using this Website, you indicate that you have read, understand and accept that Agreement, and that you agree to abide by its terms and conditions each time you access and use this Website. If you do not agree to all of the terms and conditions of the Agreement you should not use this Website.

If ads are posted on in breach of this policy we reserve the right to remove them from the website without giving notice to the advertiser or refunding any fee paid.