Rat Dogs aka Ferrets sold to gullible customers as poodles in Argentina
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Gullible bargain hunters at Argentina's largest bazaar are forking out hundreds of dollars for what they think are gorgeous toy poodles, only to discover that their cute pooch is in fact a ferret pumped up on steroids.
One retired man from Catamarca, duped by the knock-down price for a pedigree dog, became suspicious he had bought what Argentinians call a 'Brazilian rat' and when he returned home took the 'dogs' to a vet for their vaccinations.
Imagine his surprise when his suspicious were confirmed - he had in fact purchased two ferrets that had been given steroids at birth to increase their size and then had some extra grooming to make their coats resemble a fluffy toy poodle.
The 'Brazilian rat' was fed steroids at birth and groomed so that it resembled a toy poodle
Previously considered an urban legend of the giant La Salada market, local television news in the capital, Buenos Aires, discovered that the unidentified man was not alone - another woman had been told that she was buying a Chiuhuahua, but ended up with a ferret.
Both the woman and the retired man have not filed complaints.
Typically, toy poodle puppies cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States and a ferret will usually set someone back around $75.
Cute: A white toy poodle puppy stares lovingly at the camera - toy poodles typically cost upwards of $1,000
A typically fully grown ferret - not on steroids - is still smaller than a fully grown toy poodle
Compared to Mumbai's infamous Dharavi slum, La Salada is a self contained micro-economic center of the Argentinian capital, largely filled with skilled Bolivian workers who have migrated.
A stark contrast to the sprawling wealth of some parts of Buenos Aires, La Salada is a collection of small and informal workers, distributors and entrepreneurs - some lucky enough to sell ferrets as dogs for $150.