Animals around the world have been subjected to hazardous treatments in some sellers' attempts to market them as novelty pets. Although sold to an adoring crowd, many animal rights advocates are shocked by these unethical sales.
Recently, photos of 'Bengal dogs' have been circulating online. Puppies with tan coats are painted with black stripes to emulate the pattern normally found on tigers' coats. The sellers try to trick buyers into believing that the puppies come from a new, exotic breed to make more profit off them.
These dogs are also called 'one week puppies' due to the toxic paint that causes high fatalities.
Chinese street vendors are also selling 'living keychains' - live miniature fish and turtles sealed in plastic keychains, marketing them as good-luck charms. The keychains are said to be capable of providing sustenance for a few months, but a veterinarian has commented that the plastic confinement does not support survival.
Vibrantly-coloured chicks have been the long-time favourites of children in many countries. Chicken eggs are injected with dyes so the chicks are coloured upon hatching. The dyes contain hydrogen peroxide and ammonia which cause chicks to die even before hatching. Grown chicks are also at risk of abandonment once they outgrow their colours and charm.
Unfortunately, animal rights activists are unable to bring about a change to the unethical treatment of these animals as they are not covered by local animal welfare laws in countries such as China.
Take a look at some of these novelty pets here.