Colombian company cancels planned puppy raffle in response to outcry from animal advocates

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After animal lovers loudly voiced their opposition, a cellphone provider in Colombia has called off plans to give puppies away to customers in a raffle, The Times’ Latin America blog La Plaza reports.

The company, called Comcel, is part of a large telecom empire owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Comcel had previously announced that it would give away 200 purebred puppies -- Labrador retrievers, boxers, pugs, beagles and shih-tzus, according to Bloomberg News -- through the raffle that ends next week. It will now offer debit cards as prizes instead of live animals.

‘When people give animals as prizes, they usually don’t realize that they might be contributing to the animal homelessness crisis by condoning the breeding of pedigree pups,’ said Daphna Nachminovitch, a vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, one of the groups that argued against Comcel’s puppy raffle. ‘We want everyone to understand that puppies need and deserve a serious commitment of time, money and love and that many families are unprepared for such a commitment.’



-- Lindsay Barnett