The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Man Buys Two Toy Poodles for $300 - Vet Confirms that They Are Actually Ferrets on Steroids

Monday, April 8, 2013

Man Buys Two Toy Poodles for $300 - Vet Confirms that They Are Actually Ferrets on Steroids

Gullible bargain hunters at Argentina's largest bazaar are forking out hundreds of dollars for what they think are gorgeous toy poodles, only to discover that their cute pooch is in fact a ferret pumped up on steroids.

One retired man from Catamarca, duped by the knock-down price for a pedigree dog, became suspicious he had bought what Argentinians call a 'Brazilian rat' and when he returned home took the 'dogs' to a vet for their vaccinations.

Imagine his surprise when his suspicious were confirmed - he had in fact purchased two ferrets that had been given steroids at birth to increase their size and then had some extra grooming to make their coats resemble a fluffy toy poodle.

Previously considered an urban legend of the giant La Salada market, local television news in the capital, Buenos Aires, discovered that the unidentified man was not alone - another woman had been told that she was buying a Chiuhuahua, but ended up with a ferret.

Both the woman and the retired man have not filed complaints.

Typically, toy poodle puppies cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States and a ferret will usually set someone back around $75.

Compared to Mumbai's infamous Dharavi slum, La Salada is a self contained micro-economic center of the Argentinian capital, largely filled with skilled Bolivian workers who have migrated.

A stark contrast to the sprawling wealth of some parts of Buenos Aires, La Salada is a collection of small and informal workers, distributors and entrepreneurs - some lucky enough to sell ferrets as dogs for $150.

Conned: How can a ferret ever look like a toy poodle?

  • Ferrets typically have brown, white or mixed fur and are around 51 cm in length - which includes a 13 cm tail.
  • They weigh around three pounds and have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.
  • When happy, ferrets may perform a routine known as the weasel war dance - which is characterized by a series of hops and frenzied attempts to bump into things.This is often accompanied by a soft clucking noise called dooking. 
  • When upset ferrets make a hissing noise.
  • Toy poodles are known for their intelligence and are around 25 cm tall and weigh around nine pounds.
  • If a toy poodle exceeds 25 cm height, it cannot compete in any dog show as a toy poodle.
  • Toy poodle have long lifespans and have been known to live as long as 20-years.
  • They are described as sweet, cheerful and perky and lively and love to be around people.

No longer an urban myth: People in the Argentinian market of La Salada are being sold ferrets (Brazilian rats - right) given steroids so that they resemble toy poodles.

                           The 'Brazilian rat' was fed steroids at birth and groomed so that it resembled a toy poodle.

              Cute: A white toy poodle puppy stares lovingly at the camera - toy poodles typically cost upwards of $1,000

                            A typically fully grown ferret - not on steroids - is still smaller than a fully grown toy poodle.

La Salada in Buenos Aires is the biggest illegal market in South America. A high range of products is offered at the market for half the usual price.


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