Ten out of 33 dogs, allegedly stolen by a pet shop owner from a private veterinary hospital in Noida and being kept in “unsanitary conditions”, were recovered by Noida Police Friday after an overnight operation.
The shop owner, Gyanendra (27), is absconding, an officer at Noida Phase III police station said.
Among the dogs recovered are a female golden retriever, a male golden retriever stud, two chihuahua puppies, a maltese puppy and a blue eyed beagle. Police said they have been handed over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Police are looking for the rest of the animals.
The officer said an FIR was earlier filed against Gyanendra for animal cruelty and illegal dog breeding, following which police and animal care activists Thursday rescued 33 dogs and a cat from his shop in Noida’s Phase II. The rescued dogs were then shifted to private hospital in Noida Phase III for medical examination. However, the same day, Gyanendra and his associate allegedly stole all 33 dogs.
The FIR was filed by Kaveri Rana Bhardwaj, president of non-profit People For Animals (PFA), Gautam Budh Nagar, after she received a complaint by one of Gyanendra’s customers on the “poor condition of animals at his shop”.
Bhardwaj said, “All kinds of dogs, sick and healthy, were kept together in cages. We found seven puppies inside a box that was closed and taped from the top… they were separated from their mother. The cages looked like they had not been cleaned in days.”
Bhardwaj alleged Gyanendra had been breeding dogs without a licence.“At the private hospital on Friday, one of the accused engaged doctors in a conversation as the other stole the dogs,” an officer said. However, Bhardwaj claimed Gyanendra and his associate had threatened the doctors of violence. She claimed she had seen CCTV footage of the incident, showing the accused “stuffing all 33 dogs inside an SUV along with their beds”.
A Noida police officer said that after being intimated of the alleged theft, police teams raided several locations overnight in Noida and Delhi before tracing the dogs to Gyanendra’s residence in Noida’s Sector 119 on Friday morning.
While Gyanendra is absconding, police have made an arrest in the case.
Bhardwaj said the dogs were identified through photographs. She said the female golden retriever recovered is pregnant, and its condition was “critical” as of Saturday evening.
A veterinary doctor who is overseeing the treatment of the rescued dogs said all of them were brought in with cough and ticks and were in trauma after being shifted from one place to another several times. “Medical test results will tell if they have any disease,” he said.
At a facility on Saturday, where the dogs are being housed temporarily, most were asleep. The male golden retriever, who appeared to be in good health, was taken out for a walk.