If you just purchased a white poodle in Argentina, you should take a closer look because it might just be a large ferret with very poofed up fur. A Dallas TV station reported recently that a man at a bazaar in Argentina bought what he believed were two toy poodles, but when he got them home he saw they were just large ferrets.
Toy poodles sell for over ten times the amount of ferrets, so
he was clearly scammed. This story begs a number of questions: who pays that much for a toy poodle when there is a huge surplus of dogs waiting to be adopted in animal shelters for free? The same question applies to people who pay for ferrets when they could adopt a free animal and save it from being euthanized at a shelter?
This kind of behavior only serves to underscore the fact that human consumption is frequently irrational. For example, 3-4 million companion animals are put down every year in the United States, but many people continue to buy pets from pet stores. Not only could these consumers save the lives of many animals that do not deserve to die, they could also save themselves money and set much better examples for their children (if they have children.)
If they have friends, their example is likely to be of some value to them in making better choices for themselves and for society as a whole. This kind of small action that becomes amplified on a community level is known as the ripple effect. The ferret and poodle scam will hit the news, because it is an amusing situation, but how many will learn something valuable and then change their behavior to benefit society at large?
Note: the animal pictured in this story is not related to the actual news incident in Argentina, and is intended only to be an example of a white toy poodle.