Online pet hosting service Pets4Homes has launched a bond system to protect both buyers and sellers as demand for pets continues to skyrocket.
The program was put in place in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, which led to a huge increase in demand for pets, with more than 150,000 animals relocated to the site in June and July alone. .
Pets4Homes said that across the UK, the coronavirus lockdown has caused an imbalance between the supply and demand of pets, with future owners increasingly willing to fork out large sums to secure their pets. desired pet.
As a result, many have chosen to prepay large deposits to secure their purchase, risking exploitation when using unsecured platforms or informal channels.
More than seven million Britons use the Pets4Homes site each month, with almost 3,000 pets being housed each day. The company says it prioritizes responsible practices and continually strives to ensure the trust, safety and convenience of buyers and sellers.
The new deposit service is a registration feature that allows sellers to set the required deposit amount, which buyers then pay into a third-party escrow account. The funds are only released once both parties confirm, through their Pets4Homes account, that they are satisfied that the deposit can be released.
To use the service, a prospective pet owner will post a deposit for a puppy or kitten, after which a physical or video viewing of their future pet will be arranged, as per the guidelines of Pets4Homes.
After a satisfactory visit, the deposit is then returned to the seller, with the buyer returning to make collection and final payment once their new animal is at least eight weeks old.
With pets in high demand, the service is also designed to protect breeders from potential owners who organize multiple tours in an effort to secure their pets, as it will only allow registered users to make a single deposit at the times.
Axel Lagercrantz, CEO of Pets4Homes, said: “Any market inherently suffers from a small minority trying to exploit the goodwill of new owners, so Pets4Homes has always advised against sending deposits to outsiders.
“However, with the increased demand for pets, we realized that deposits had become a rule rather than an exception. This is why we are proud to be able to present the first such secure deposit service in the UK, specially implemented for animal lovers and responsible breeders, as well as for charities and shelters in need of help to relocate a pet. “