Puppy love: 777 Charlie spurs spike in demand for Labradors

PETA India urges fans to adopt, not shop

Updated - June 22, 2022 09:22 pm IST

Published - June 22, 2022 08:52 pm IST - Bengaluru

A still from the film 777 Charlie.

A still from the film 777 Charlie.

The star of the recently released Kannada film, 777 Charlie, was a dog which played the titular character in the movie. Having released in multiple languages, the film’s popularity also catapulted the fame of the breed of the dog, Labrador, and led to a sudden demand for these animals, which are sometimes also bought from breeders.

In the wake of this, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has urged fans not to buy dogs from breeders, but to only adopt them. As many pet stores and breeders are not registered with the state animal welfare boards, their activities, including selling dogs, are considered illegal.

Hence, while asking the public to refrain from supporting such establishments and breeders, PETA also made a reference to the film’s plot where 777 Charlie escapes from a cruel dog breeder, before it ends up on the street. 

Similar trends were observed globally where a certain breed of dog was in great demand post a movie or an ad. Later, many such animals were abandoned on the streets, while the owners found it difficult to take care of them.

While there was an increase in the number of abandoned Dalmatians after the release of Disney’s remake of the movie 101 Dalmatians in the U.S., in recent years, many Huskies are being given to shelters or abandoned owing to the depiction of direwolves (which resemble Huskies) in the series Game of Thrones, PETA India noted. 

“When a certain canine breed is highlighted in the media, whether a Pug by Vodafone or a Labrador in 777 Charlie, people flock to purchase that breed while keeping desi dogs languishing in shelters or on the streets,” said PETA India vice-president of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera.

“PETA India urges movie fans who have the time, patience, love, and resources to welcome a dog into their home to adopt, not shop.” 

The release further said that the pedigree dogs, which are bred for certain exaggerated physical traits at pet shops and by breeders, are usually deprived of proper veterinary care and adequate food, exercise, affection, and socialisation. Breeding for traits also leads to higher rates of genetic and hereditary diseases in such dogs.

“For instance, Pugs are prone to severe health problems like breathing difficulties, eye problems, encephalitis, and hip dysplasia. Similarly, Labradors are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, obesity, hypothyroidism, and other difficulties. In contrast, Indian community dogs are healthier and more robust,” explained the release.

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