Want a puppy in Iran?

Too bad.


by Jacob Goldstein

From today’s WSJ:

Buying and selling dogs is illegal in Iran … Dogs are considered “haram,” or unclean, in Islam. Until recently, keeping dogs as pets was limited to a small circle of Westernized Iranians.

But access to satellite television—and American programs depicting families playing with pups—has turned dog ownership into a sign of social status in Iran. …

Vendors charge the equivalent of up to $10,000 for top dogs and operate so covertly that some blindfold potential buyers en route to the kennel.

“It was crazy,” says Ali Shekouri, a 32-year-old businessman who pursued three dicey strategies before obtaining a local beagle. “After a while I didn’t know if I was buying a dog or dealing in an international drug trade.”

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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