The death of a three-week-old puppy just days after being sold online triggered an outrage on social media, with an online petition urging a ban on such sales garnering 17,000 signatures.
City-based CJ Memorial Trust started the online petition following the death of Bagheera, which was sold on the popular e-commerce site Quikr.
The petition, which also highlighted how online selling spaces are turning into markets for dogs that are treated like a commodity, made hashtags like #NomoreBagheeras and #banonlinepetsales to go viral among animal lovers.
Unhygienic breeding caused a painful, contagious and mostly fatal case of canine distemper in Bagheera. He was given to a foster who, having tried her best to nurse him, placed the puppy at the animal shelter, Care, where he died.
“The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules 2017 has several strong clauses to prevent cruelty during breeding and sale,” Priya Chetty Rajagopal, who circulated the online petition on Change.org, said.
But despite being the best set of rules in the world, Priya pointed out that they are yet to be fully implemented.
She also accused Quikr of violating laws concerning the prevention of cruelty to animals rules as it had put up 792 pages of pup listings without asking for the dog breeding certificate essential for selling them.
“You get the dog breeding certificate after going through a set of stringent requirements,” she said. “The certificate is essential for any pup sale, which the buyer should ask and the seller should present.”
While laws restrict the sale of pups below eight weeks, Bagheera was only three weeks when sold. Moreover, dogs cannot be exhibited for public sale without AWBI’s consent as mentioned in Section 8 of the 2017 rules.
Having kept a target of 25,000 signatures on the petition, Priya is networking with other animal rights groups across the country to report online puppy sales to discourage such dealings. Her objectives of rising the issue are also to create more public awareness on cruelties caused to animal from online sellers.
Priya and CJ Memorial Trust had hosted an event on Wednesday to encourage people to report online puppy sales through sites like Indiamart, Justdial, and even on networking sites like Facebook.