Spaniel Aid, an animal welfare charity working to finding homes for spaniels, found itself muzzled when Meta began taking down posts seeking to rehome dogs claiming that they ‘violate community standards’ on ‘regulated goods’ – basically assuming that the posts were about the sale of dogs rather than adoption.
Now, the situation has escalated to the point the charity is at risk of losing their page if they make any more posts about dogs seeking new homes.
“Spaniel Aid uses the social media platform, part of Meta, to tell its 180,000 followers about dogs ready for adoption,” the charity has stated. “Thousands of people have had their first sight of a new family member on Facebook, and have gone on to apply to adopt the dog.
“But now Facebook says any further posts about spaniels looking for new homes could result in the page being taken down permanently because posts violate community standards rules on regulated goods.”
“The issue seems to be that Facebook can’t distinguish between the sale of animals and a rescue trying to find homes for rescue dogs”
While Spaniel Aid says successfully appealed when posts were taken down in the past, but that “it’s increasingly hard to have appeals seen by a real person”.
Spaniel Aid founder and trustee Nicola Kebbell says, “The issue seems to be that Facebook can’t distinguish between the sale of animals and a rescue trying to find homes for rescue dogs. We have tried posting in numerous ways to get past this, but they are removing lots of posts and our page is now on a warning – as are many of our admins.”
She adds, “The most annoying thing is that a fake Spaniel Aid page is still up despite being complained about numerous times, as are some dodgy rehoming groups that we know for a fact have scammed money from people. It is very infuriating and is not helping us to find homes in these tough times.”
As most of the traffic to Spaniel Aid’s adoption page comes from Facebook, the charity fears that this will leave hundreds and dogs unable to find a new home.
“This is a tough time for animal charities like Spaniel Aid. If we lose our Facebook page and our ability to communicate with our followers and tell them about dogs looking for homes, it could leave hundreds of dogs and their fosterers in limbo,” a Spaniel Aid spokesperson says. “Please Facebook, find a way to recognise that we aren’t selling dogs, and don’t close our page!”