No home for pets amid lockdown

Animals Business City Ludhiana Pandemic

With families facing cash crunch  amid lockdown, people refrain from buying and adopting pets.

Ludhiana: Twinkly eyes and sloppy smiles, the four-legged best friend that is known for relieving stress is suffering in cages. 

Pet shop owners expressed their concern on how their sales have been affected amid lockdown. The increasing number of cases in the city has led people to stay indoors again. 

Kamalpreet Singh, owner of No.1 Pet Shop in Model Town said, “Although the prices of breeds have come down, a dog that we used to  sell for Rs.35, 000 to Rs.40, 000 is now easily available at Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000. We have stopped bringing all the puppies to the shop, since keeping them in cage in this hot weather will be nothing more than torture.”

Owner of Jot Kennel, another pet shop in Model Town, said that their business is affected by 75 percent. “People come to buy food and accessories but no sale of pets has happened for weeks now,” he said.

Puppies are kept outside the shops in cages, in the sun.

However, there are still some people who want to have a pet, just because someone in their family adores dogs. 

Sahib Singh, a city resident who recently bought a puppy said, “I just got this pup for my three-year-old daughter. She is fond of dogs and loves playing with them. We are not moving around in the city, given the present situation. Therefore, she is unable to meet her friends and I thought it would be a good idea to get her a pet.”

The pandemic induced lockdown has not only affected the pet shop owners, but has also impacted family earnings in various sectors. 

Arshdeep Kaur, a final year veterinary student and an associate of India for Animals (IFA) said, “We have been working for adoption of indie-breeds. People are hesitant to get a new family member, simply because it would add to their existing expenses.”

Pet shop owners struggle with managing their share of responsibilities and expenses of several puppies. ringing home a pet means  bringing along the responsibility and expenses of their food, treats, vaccinations and accessories to people. 

Tanya Garg, the founder of IFA said, “Although,  , there has been a slight change in the outlook of people. Earlier, there was rarely a chance that people would opt for adopting an indie-dog over the ‘cute and furry’ imported dogs. Now, at least people are talking more about how adoption is better than buying dogs.”

“People, who are not willing to spend much, prefer adopting dogs rather than buying. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address where he mentioned how Indian breeds are not paid attention and that people should shift from purchasing to adopting, I think played a very important role in bringing this up. Hopefully, in the coming years, there will be a shift in the trend from buying imported dogs to adopting our own Indian breeds,” she added.

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