The recent Kannada movie ‘777 Charlie’ which revolves around the relationship between a dog and its human has got more people interested in buying pet dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers. The Kiranraj K directorial starring Rakshit Shetty depicts the relationship between the lead character and his pet dog.
The Indian Express spoke to multiple pet sellers who said they have experienced a spurt in sales after the release of the movie. Rakesh, who breeds dogs in Indiranagar, says, “We only get enquiries for female Labradors, no males. Otherwise, customers mainly ask for pomeranians or Shih Tzu, not any other breed.”
“We get more enquiries for Golden Retriever and Shih Tzu in general, but after the movie, there has been an increase in enquiries for Labradors as well over the past two weeks,” says Sam, another breeder.
Owner of Aubree Pets, Mathew, says: “There have been quite a few enquiries for Labradors since the movie released, but I haven’t taken any orders since I stopped the business a few years ago.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has appealed to the public to refrain from supporting breeders and pet stores, most of which are not registered with their state animal welfare board and are thus illegal. PETA India reminds fans that as per the film’s plot, the dog depicted in 777 Charlie escaped a cruel breeder before ending up on the streets.
“When a certain dog 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,” says Sachin Bangera, PETA India vice -President of Celebrity and Public Relations. “PETA India urges movie fans who have the time, patience, love and resources to welcome a dog into their home to adopt, not shop.”
Animal shelters in the US had reported a sharp increase in the number of Dalmatian dogs found dumped after many were given to children as gifts after the release of Disney’s remake of the movie 101 Dalmatians.
In recent years, there has also been a spike in the number of huskies being abandoned or handed over to shelters, which experts attribute to the increased demand for the breed because of their physical similarities to the directors in the fantasy television series Game of Thrones. In fact, portrayals of specific dog breeds in films and television shows – including Legally Blonde and Men in Black – have reportedly caused massive increases in sales of the featured breeds, but unfortunately, many of these dogs are later left at shelters by their ill- prepared guardians, said PETA.