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(5 Feb 2018) LEADIN:
From Afghan dogs to parrots and even a lion cub, pets of all shapes and sizes are getting their moment in the spotlight at Karachi’s annual pet show.
Owners get the chance to show off their pets, take part in competitions and get to know different species and breeds.
Enjoying a well-earned scratch behind the ears, this pug is soaking up the limelight at the Karachi pet show.
It’s one of more than 200 animals taking part.
Siblings Nabeeha and Saad Khan have brought along Jack, their boisterous Kuchi, or Afghan Shepherd dog.
Jack is two years old and has been with the family since he was a puppy. He’s got all the energy and excitement of a young dog.
“We got him when he was two weeks old and we have had him since. And basically, he eats white and normal meat. Basically, his favourite is chicken, and dog food, and rotis and parathas (baked dough) is just like his treats. And other than that, he is really excited to be here, as you can see. We came here so he can you know adapt to people and other dogs. So basically, it was a good opportunity for him to go out of the house and see what the world’s like,” says Nabeeha.
His owners say this is a good opportunity to teach him to socialise, as it’s one of the few places in Karachi that are pet-friendly
There are plenty of dog-owners here who’ve had the same idea.
A wide variety of breeds, from bulldogs to chihuahuas, are here to strut their stuff and sniff each other out.
But it’s not just dogs that are attracting attention.
“More than 200 animals are expected to take part in the show. There will be more than 25 different kinds of animals. There are exotic pets also, other than cats, dogs and birds. There are also reptiles. There are ostriches. There are even a few lion cubs, and even ponies and horses including (a Shetland pony that was) last year’s winner,” says Shan Saleem, the show’s organizer.
One of the highlights for visitors is the chance to stroke a lion cub, who’s here with its owner.
Pet food companies have also set up stalls here as their merchandise is in high demand.
Another big draw is the show’s competition, where the audience can vote for their favourite dogs and cats.
But some visitors say the show is more than just an opportunity to parade pampered pets, it’s educational too.
“I am here because I can have fun with my whole family. Also, you can learn a lot of new things about different pets. There are different breeds here of the different types of animals, like cats, dogs, birds, etc.,” says student Mohammad Sami.
Another student, Hafsa Amin, agrees: “I have been coming here for the last two years. There are different breeds of dogs as well as other animals. I really enjoy it a lot. We should have more such shows in Karachi.”
Like lots of other visitors, she’s enjoying the chance to get to know this blue and gold macaw.
The show’s now in its sixth year and its popularity among Karachi’s animal lovers is showing no sign of fading.
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