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Dogs Fetching a Pretty Price for Soviet Olim in Need of Cash

A surprisingly large number of newcomers from the Soviet Union have been arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport with dogs.

But it now appears that many of the canine members of the family are not longtime beloved family pets but rather recent acquisitions, purchased as a means to get part of their savings out of the country.

A Tel Aviv veterinarian reports that she has recently received many telephone calls from Jews in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, Leningrad and other Soviet cities, whom she did not know, asking her advice as to the “best and most valuable breeds” in demand in Israel.

They said they had obtained her name and phone number from friends who have already arrived here with dogs.

The vet says her advice to her callers is to bring with them any pets they may already have, but not to buy any dogs to be sold here at a profit. Israel is a small country, she explains, which already has a sufficient stock of domesticated animals.

She says that in conversations with the Soviet callers, she has been surprised to learn that in many families, only the husband works.

Asking how they managed to save enough money to buy expensive dogs, she is told that there are not enough goods available in Soviet shops on which to spend even meager incomes. Hence, the opportunity to save vast amounts of money.

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