A Chinese dog owner received the shock of a lifetime after the 'Japanese Spitz' she had purchased at a local pet store turned out to be something very different.
By, 15 Sep 2019
Ms Wang was delighted when she took her new puppy home for the first time. She bought the pup from a local pet store for $190 and couldn't wait to watch the adorable baby spitz grow into a healthy and well-adjusted dog.
Something's not right with this pup
But a few months later, Ms Wang starts to worry; something isn't quite right with her pet pooch. Firstly, it never barks. Secondly, the tail seems far too long for a puppy, and its coat is much thicker than you'd expect on a spitz. The pup also refuses to eat any kind of dog food.
What's more, other dogs and pets seem terrified of this little spitz!
Ms Wang decided to consult an animal specialist at Taiyuan Zoo, who quickly got to the root of the problem. This dog was no Japanese Spitz - it was actually a baby fox!
With no idea how to raise a fox, Ms Wang made the difficult decision to leave her 'pet' at the zoo. The baby fox was quarantined for a month and then slowly introduced to the other resident foxes.
Staff said Ms Wang is welcome to visit anytime!
As strange as it might sound, cases like this are not that unusual in China. The country has a long way to go when it comes to animal welfare, meaning some unscrupulous sellers often take advantage of the lack of regulation to make a quick buck.
Thriving black market
There's also a thriving black market for wild animals in China. In 2016, sellers were caught trafficking Saharan Fennec foxes for as much as £2,100 per time.
The UK has no legal restrictions on owning a fox, although keeping a wild animal as a pet is never a good idea. And any UK breeders caught selling wild foxes as domesticated pups will find themselves in lots of trouble!