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Buying an exotic pup cheap? Beware, it may die very soon

Half the puppies sold in this market die within a few weeks of being taken home, reports Avishek G Dastidar.
Hindustan Times | By Avishek G Dastidar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 31, 2007 03:24 AM IST

If you are looking for a puppy of some exotic breed in the Capital’s grey market, be careful. Half the puppies sold in this market die within a few weeks of being taken home. Sellers keen on making the quick buck don’t bother to vaccinate the cute canines against the fatal parvovirus and distemper diseases.

A recent study by the NGO Animal Saviour found that 50 per cent of puppies of much sought-after breeds — such as Dalmatians, St. Bernards, Labradors and Beagles — available in the grey market for less than half the price at a regular pet shop, die soon after changing hands.

Said Gautam Grover, managing trustee of Animal Saviour: “We started the study after receiving complaints that newly bought puppies were dying after a few days of sickness.”

“Using decoys, we checked out the extremely objectionable condition in which newborns are kept without any medical care,” Grover said. “If a Labrador puppy costs Rs 10,000 in a regular shop, it comes for almost half that price at places which sell them without vaccination papers or records of pedigree,” he added.

Grover said over 250 unauthorised breeders are operating from Kotla Mubarakpur, Kathputli Colony (Shadipur Depot) and Shahdara. The most exotic breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff, costs Rs 45,000 to Rs 48,000. But it is available in the grey market for Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000.

Dr H.C. Bhardwaj, medical superintendent of the NDMC’s veterinary hospital, said: “Distemper and parvovirus are contagious and fatal airborne diseases. Distemper cannot be cured. If the breeder is careless about vaccination after birth, these diseases creep in.”

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