Three decades after its inauguration, the dog breeding unit at Saidapet run by the Animal Husbandry Department is in want of adult dogs for its breeding programme.
The state of affairs persists despite a substantial allocation of Rs. 30 lakh from the Department, say senior officials.
The unit was started with the aim of popularising indigenous pure breeds such as Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Kombai and Kanni of Tamil Nadu and pedigrees such as Rottweiler, Doberman and Dalmatian.
Today, the unit is unable to breed Rottweilers and Dobermans as there are no males available. Though there is one Dalmatian male adult, the unit has been waiting for a female for months. Due to lack of breeding for the past couple of years, the Centre has not sold pedigree puppies to the public.
Sources in the veterinary department said a large number of people have registered with the Unit for buying pedigree puppies and the waiting period is a minimum of three years.
At present the unit is breeding only Labradors besides Chippiparai and Rajapalayam puppies. The Unit gave up breeding Kombai a long time ago as there were no takers for the breed which is known for its ferocious temperament. Officials said they could not breed Kanni, as they were unable to secure pure-bred adults.
There is a great demand for the pedigree puppies from this unit as the prices are very low in comparison to those quoted by private breeders. The unit sells a male Labrador puppy at Rs. 1,800, a male Doberman puppy at Rs. 1,750 and a Rottweiler male puppy at Rs. 8,450.
These breeds are sold by a private breeder at Rs. 6,000-Rs. 7,000 without documents and at Rs. 10,000 and above with papers. A Rottweiler is sold at Rs. 12,000 without documents and at Rs. 15,000 and above with the papers.
As some people buy the puppies at low prices from the unit and sell them for a very high price outside, officials want a revision of the prices of the pedigree puppies sold at the unit.
Renovation works underway
Meanwhile, a senior officer of the Animal Husbandry Department said a sum of Rs. 30 lakh has been sanctioned for various civil works at the unit, including the provision of a roof, ventilation, tiles and exhaust fans for 19 kennels. The works are nearly complete, the officer said.
Lack of facilities
The unit that functions from a sprawling complex on the arterial Anna Salai also houses a referral veterinary hospital. But, the hospital lacks even basic facilities such as x-ray, ultra sound, scan, blood analysis, and laproscopy. There are not enough attendants to take care of the dogs and the puppies. “Recently a few Labrador puppies died due to lack of care,” an official said.
A pet owner said, when he wanted a scan for his pet, the hospital authorities advised him to go the Madras Veterinary College hospital.
The hospital authorities confirmed that the facilities were not available but would soon be in place.