The foundation stone-laying ceremony of a state vet hospital in Govindpur, Dhanbad, on February 10. Picture by Gautam Dey
There are two kinds of people, one that says dogs are people and the other that laughs at the notion.
Jharkhand seems to love the first group. In two years, whether your heart wags for a Pomeranian or a pug, a Dalmatian or a dachshund, a bulldog or a beagle, a German shepherd or a Rottweiler, you can buy a pure-bred pup from the first state canine breeding centre near GT Road (NH2) in Dhanbad.
The proposed canine hub — which will offer a one-stop facility for dog lovers, including breeding, registration and vet services — will be adjacent to a state vet hospital in Govindpur block of Dhanbad. State animal husbandry department officials have pegged the project worth over Rs 2 crore.
Right now, the state has Jamshedpur Kennel Club, Chotanagpur Kennel Club and private pet dealers. But to buy a dog, you need to rely on contacts, scan the Net or newspaper classifieds for ads and scout for reputable dealers and kennels. Even so, whether you get a healthy pure-bred pup at the right price mostly depends on luck.
According to Ranchi vet Mukesh Kumar who takes care of chief minister Hemant Soren’s dalmatians, buyers can be duped. “Buying an authentic breed is a dicey proposition here. If you aren’t an expert you may be duped. Many canine dealers don’t give you genuine papers, which is why I bought a Great Dane from Lucknow,” he said.
Once the canine centre comes up in Dhanbad, this should change. The hub will have a panel to scout pure-bred species from authorised centres in India and raise litter for sale.
Director of state animal husbandry department Captain A.G. Bandyopadhyay said the centre would be ready by 2017. “We’ve started initial work after the department sanctioned Rs 50 lakh. Considering costs involved, setting up the canine centre has been split into two fiscal years. If all goes well, it will be ready in 2017,” Bandyopadhyay said.
“Military and paramilitary security forces are known to maintain canine breeding centres. This would arguably be the first government-run dog firm in Jharkhand. We have sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for infrastructure to begin with. Rest of the funds will be passed in the third supplementary budget in the Assembly tomorrow (Wednesday),” he added.
Dhanbad district animal husbandry officer (DAHO) Abhay Kumar Singh agreed initial civil work started. “The proposed canine breeding centre is coming up on the existing district vet hospital premises in Govindpur block. It spans over 2.5 acres. For now, we’ve started fencing,” he said over phone.
Still, as many state projects fizzle out, dog lovers can keep fingers crossed while they wait.
But animal husbandry department officials feel they have a winner in their hands.
“The pet culture is booming like never before in Jharkhand. There is a gap vis-ŕ-vis demand and supply for quality dog breeds,” said an official.
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