RT investigates an alarming trend that is putting the health of Russia’s most beloved four-legged friends at risk.
Cats, dogs, and rabbits in boxes are a common sight in the Russian capital: street sellers are using citizens’ beloved pets to make money – unfortunately, very often at the cost of the animals’ welfare.
“The situation is very sad indeed,” veterinarian Anna Zhuk told RT. “Such animals, purchased in subways and on the streets, are often brought to our clinic. Their health is usually in a very bad state.”
The main source of these illnesses is the boxes the animals are kept in.
“Even if the trader gets a potentially healthy animal, it still gets infected in this box,” Anna said. “After a new owner buys the pet, the first signs of infection manifest themselves in three to four days.”
Some animals simply cannot survive to get their much-needed treatment. Elena Grigoryeva witnessed the problem first hand when, one day, she came across a discarded box near her house.
“I found a cardboard box sealed with duct tape. Who know how long it had been there. Its bottom was damp so the kittens managed to get out,” Elena recalls.
Elena took home all seven kittens and did her best to nurse them back to health. Unfortunately, four of them still died.
The central problem in this respect is an overall explosion in the number of pets in Russia. A lack of control over private breeding has left many owners with too many animals to take care of. In desperation, people turn to the streets, hoping to get some money as alms.
“Normally, they throw animals away on the same day,” Evgeny Ilynsky, President of the Zoo Protection Foundation, told RT. “For example, they throw them into the nearby forest. The only solution to this problem is to limit the number of animals being privately bred through legislation and taxation.”
However, such measures seem a distant reality. With no quick fix in sight, man’s four-legged friends will have to rely on the kindness of strangers to keep them out of harm’s way.
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