Brazil is the largest country in South America and is a federative republic that achieved its independence from Portugal in 1822. Brazilians can vote at age 16, and are obliged to do so from age 18 onwards.
The African-Portuguese influence in Brazil has created world-renowned musical styles such as Samba and Bossa Nova. . Most pre-Carnival street parties in Brazil are all about samba. Hundreds of decked-out dogs – and a few brave cats – get in on the Carnival fun at Rio de Janeiro’s annual pet-friendly parade. The neighbourhood of Copacabana has currently the most dog owners per square meter.
Known as “pet shops” (in English), these small businesses are amongst the most successful in Brazil. Dogs are popular pets and are often treated like children: owners buy them outfits, shoes, fancy collars, and doggie beds. Also, since Brazilians are very concerned about personal hygiene, they also keep their dogs very clean, often bringing them to a groomer once a week.
According to Globo, sixty percent of Brazilian households have a pet, and as such, pet products sell better than children’s clothes and the Brazilian pet industry accounts for $ 4 billion a year. Juiz de Fora, a major city in Minas Gerais, located close to the state border with Rio de Janeiro is a particularly pet-crazy city. There are special pet photographers, and dozens of pet shops and groomers. The groomers not only offer baths, but also dye jobs (partial and full), tattoos, and fur decorations.
In general Brazil is very accepting of dogs, allowing them to travel domestically on almost all public transport provided the dog is properly secured or, in the case of certain airlines and taxi services, confined within a suitable crate. When making travel plans, nevertheless, the basic requirements are a health certificate issued within four days of travel endorsed by the Brazilian consulate in the owner’s country of residence. Plus, dogs must have had all of their vaccinations plus a rabies jab which will be tested thirty days before travel.
As a city, Rio has endeavored to create a dog-friendly environment, providing suitable walkways, parks and pet centers. “The dog park in Lagoa is fantastic!”
There are nearly 150,000 stray and unwanted cats and dogs in Rio de Janeiro. Many roam the streets sick and injured. Others live in animal protection shelters. They are everywhere, in posh neighbourhoods and in the countryside. People buy puppy, can’t afford puppy, puppy grows up, forced to live on the street. The problem for the dogs is that food on the street is scarce and the stray dogs pick up nasty diseases.
“Most people cherish pet, but a few people don’t take care of pets to the end. The pets become homeless and some of them are killed. I think people who have pet must take care of pets to end.” Says Durate, a student.
All in all, before choosing to keep an animal at home, people should consider whether the animal is going to be happy in their environment.
Prof. (Er.) Chander P Mahajan is an art critic & a free lance journalist. The Environmentalist stays in Shimla and Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India.