Blog Post

Illegal breeding, dog fights spur pet thefts in Delhi

Animal activists say there has been an increase in dog thefts, with more than 20 cases reported every day in the city. The stolen pets are often used for illegal breeding and dog fighting.

According to animal activists and NGOs in the city, if you are a dog owner, you need to careful about not just you dog’s health but also protect it from a new menace – dog theft. As the demand for pet dogs increases, there has been an increase in cases of dog thefts in the city and pedigree dogs are used for illegal breeding, say NGOs. As per the cases registered, Labrador and St Bernard are the most vulnerable breeds.

More than 20 dog thefts across Delhi every day
Animal welfare activist Sonya Ghosh tell us that every day more than 20 dog theft cases are brought to NGOs across the city. Poorva Joshipura, CEO, PETA India, says, “We receive many complaints every week. We guide the pet parents and help them understand that it is within their right to file an FIR. In one case, a dentist living in Nizamuddin East stole five dogs from his neighbourhood.

The police identified him after checking CCTV footage and recovered three dogs. He was charged with theft and a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was also registered. In another a case, a dog, who was being walked by the domestic help in Palam Vihar, was snatched by two men on a motorcycle.” Gaurav Sharma from People For Animals, says, “Cases of dog thefts and missing dogs have increased in the last six months. I have come across almost 50 such cases in the last one month.” Ritakshi Mittal, a resident of Okhla, tells us how she lost her pet, “On May 30, I was making dinner and my two-year-old St Bernard was playing in the bedroom. After some 20 minutes, I looked into the bedroom and he was not there, or anywhere else in the house. Then I noticed that the main door of my apartment was open and realised that someone had stolen him. I still haven’t found him.” Increasing threat to pets Ambika Shukla, director, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, says, “The root of this menace is the increasing demand for pet dogs. The business of illegal breeding can give a lot of profit very quickly.” Poorva says, “There are multiple reasons behind the increase in dog thefts – from using pedigree dogs for illegal breeding and selling stolen pet dogs to using them as a revenge tool.”

Ritakshi Mittal, a resident of Okhla, tells us how she lost her pet, “On May 30, I was making dinner and my two-year-old St Bernard was playing in the bedroom. After some 20 minutes, I looked into the bedroom and he was not there, or anywhere else in the house. Then I noticed that the main door of my apartment was open and realised that someone had stolen him. I still haven’t found him.”

Increasing threat to pets
Ambika Shukla, director, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, says, “The root of this menace is the increasing demand for pet dogs. The business of illegal breeding can give a lot of profit very
quickly.” Poorva says, “There are multiple reasons behind the increase in dog thefts – from using pedigree dogs for illegal breeding and selling stolen pet dogs to using them as a revenge tool.”

“There has been a rise in illegal dog fighting too, and some stolen dogs are also used as bait or for practice,” says Poorva.

“After the stolen dogs are used for breeding, they are abandoned on the roads. If no NGO comes across them, they generally die in a couple of days, succumbing to diseases and injuries. These dogs are drugged by the thieves so that they aren’t aggressive, and that is one of the main reasons that lead to their death,” says Gaurav.

Some animal activists also recommend pet sterilization as a way to stop illegal breeding.

Illegal dog breeding dens across the city

“If you cannot find your pet for more than 12 hours, you must lodge an FIR. In several cases recently, the lost pets have been found in the slums of Mahipalpur, Okhla, Nizamuddin, Shaadipur, Sangam Vihar, Raangpuri Pahari, etc,” says Sonya. Vandana Singh, an artist and actor, found her missing black Labrador in Khusro Park. She tells us, “I had high fever and couldn’t take my dog out for a walk. When a delivery boy from the medical store left the door open, my dog went outside – he has done that before, but he always comes back. I wasn’t worried for the next two hours as the society people know him. But when he did not come back after another two-three hours, my friend and I went out looking for him.

The next day, we lodged an FIR and an animal activist told me to look for him in the nearby jhuggis. I went to the police and insisted that they look in the Nizamuddin slum area. A police informer took us to Khusro Park and there two little girls recognized me. They asked, ‘Woh kala kutta aap hi ka hai na? Andar baandh ke rakh diya hai use. Bahar aane nahi de rahe hai’. I knew at once that my dog was there. The person who had my dog, denied that he had stolen him and claimed that the dog himself came to him.” Vandana says that she later got to know that two more dogs from her locality – a white Labrador and a St Bernard – were stolen by thieves living in the same slum area. “The pet parents should immediately file an FIR with the police. It’s important that people know they have a right to file an FIR. If the police refuse to act, they should escalate the matter to the higher level,” says Poorva. “If your dog is missing, go to the police, distribute the pictures of your dog to all the vets, animal welfare NGOs, animal shelters and search the nearby areas. You can also contact your nearest dog breeder for help,” says Gaurav.

 

Source: Illegal breeding, dog fights spur pet thefts in Delhi – Amita Ghose, Times of India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>