India’s first pug cafe – Let’s Pug – located in Indiranagar, has been down shut permanently post concerns raised by animal lovers and animal welfare organisations.
BENGALURU: India’s first pug cafe – Let’s Pug – located in Indiranagar, has been down shut permanently post concerns raised by animal lovers and animal welfare organisations. City Express had reported earlier that animal lovers were protesting against this cafe as it promoted only one breed.
Humane Society International and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) had written letters to the owner Santhosh, an ex-analyst at an IT firm, pointing out the ill-effects of promoting the breed. They feared this could increase the demand for the breed, and later, abandonment when pet parents realise the health issues and medical expenses related to the breed.
NG Jayasimha, managing director, Humane Society International/India and former AWBI representative to the Karnataka State Animal Welfare Board, confirms that the cafe has been shut, and when CE visited the spot, we found it was shut too. A mechanic at a car repair shop nearby says the place had been shut for two weeks now. “The police had also come to inspect the place. The owner shut shop a month ago, and two weeks back, he came to collect his belongings,” he says.
Chintana Gopinath from CUPA says she’s happy that the issue has come to a logical conclusion. “But I am worried about those eight puppies. I have no idea where they are and what the owner has done with them,” she adds.
Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, an animal lover, says that though she supports the concept of an ecosystem for pets – increasing number of boarding spaces, vet services and pet-friendly pubs or cafes – she agrees that promoting just pugs is not good. “He was setting a poor example. The pets were bought, not even adopted,” she adds.
Nivedita Chowdary, conflict resolution and negotiation specialist, Humane Society International/India, says the owner was very forthcoming. “He probably didn’t realise the health complications pugs have until us and FIAPO sent him an e-mail. He shut the cafe temporarily in mid-June, and by the end of the month, he shut it permanently. He had sent an e-mail saying that he wanted to shut the pug cafe permanently,” she says.
The e-mail, a copy of which is available with CE, cites reasons for shutting the cafe down. Santosh had written, “After reading your e-mails about pugs’ health issues, I realised that the space I am running this cafe is quite small for the pugs to play happily/freely with the customers. This space has only one side ventilation, and hence, I felt that the puppies may experience breathing problems in the near future. Also, skin problems may affect my pugs if the space is too congested.”
He wrote further that he’s been hit by the ‘worst financial crisis’, as the cafe has been temporarily shut for over a month, and hopes that at least now, the animal welfare community would understand that the puppies were ‘more than just business’. When CE tried contacting the owner, he wasn’t available for comment.