Chinese pet shops are apparently injecting sick animals with drugs such as heroin in order to conceal their illnesses and make them look more lively to potential buyers, with the result that many of the animals drop dead shortly after purchase.
Pet shops in the city of Chongqing are reportedly injecting sick dogs with drugs such as heroin and morphine in order to make them seem more lively, as it is cheaper than treating them.
One customer complains that “the dog was supposed to be healthy, but it died 3 days after I bought it.”
Local vets say that pets shops frequently stock sick animals, and that as treating them is difficult they receive many requests for stimulant injections to liven the animals up for sale, which they claim to usually refuse, although some vets actually admit to providing the injections.
They also report owners frequently bringing them animals which became sick shortly after purchase, and are likely to have been drugged in this manner.
As the cost of treating an animal may reach 1000 yuan ($150), an injection costing only a few yuan is clearly the superior option for a Chinese merchant unburdened by any concept of morality or concern for animal welfare.
A vet advises customers willing to patronise such an establishment that “if you compare animals from the same litter at a pet shop, if one of the animals is extremely energetic in comparison to its siblings the chances are that it has received a stimulant.”