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Family lands in soup for trying to sell adopted pets

A regular search on websites gives results for almost any household or outdoor item. But when an online search led Abhisheik Soparkar to one of these sites, he stumbled upon something least expected. He was shocked to find that dogs that were recently given up for adoption were on sale on a website.


The accused Tejender Singh with his family and one of the adopted labradors

Abhisheik, who is the founder of Youth Organisation for Defence of Animals (YODA), claimed that there was an advertisement for the sale of puppies with the contact details of a certain ‘Shreyas’. This same person, with his father Tejender and mother Maya, had adopted two Labradors from a retired inspector, through YODA.

In debt
The story came to light when Ayesha Silveira, another member of YODA went to Tejender Singh’s house to conduct a routine check on the two dogs that were recently adopted. On reaching the residence Ayesha found the door locked. When she asked the security guard he said Singh had not been seen in the building premises for the last three days.

Ayesha told MiD DAY that she was informed by the watchman that Singh had apparently taken loans from multiple banks and that bank collection agents had come over to recover the money. “The security guard and neighbours said Singh was last seen with four dogs that were dispatched in a van,” said Ayesha.

Dogs for sale
Abhisheik then called the numbers given on the online classified sites and posed as a potential buyer. With the help of Naupada Police Station in Thane he was able to nab Maya when she came to deliver a dog at Abhisheik’s cafe. She was then taken into police custody on May 31. When asked about her son Shreyas, she said that he was in Goa. However, he came to the police station later that night and returned the two labradors that they had adopted.

Abhisheik claimed that the police then filed a case against Maya and Shreyas Singh under sections 179, 186, 415, 416, 418 (cheating) and Section 11(a) (animal cruelty). The duo was presented in court the next day and granted bail. Meanwhile, when MiD DAY tried calling on Tejender Singh’s cell phone, it was switched off. One of the two dogs returned to YODA was injured badly and hence a case under Section 11(a) has been filed against teh accused.

A police inspector from Naupada Police station said, “The duo have been released on bail, however a case has been filed against them under Section 11(a) for animal cruelty.”YODA has now approached People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) to file a petition to ban advertisements that promote the sale of animals.

A representative from YODA said, “Initially people who illegally bred animals had a small and more localised reach. However, with the Internet their reach is practically limitless. If we are able to ban advertisements for the sale of animals online, these traders won’t have a major reach and their markets will be limited. Hence, we have approached PeTA to help us in a campaign to ban such advertisements.”

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