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Colombian cellphone company cancels puppy raffle after PETA protests

January 7, 2011 | 11:18 am

Colombia cell phone puppies promotion

A Colombian cellphone company belonging to Mexican magnate Carlos Slim's telecom empire has canceled plans to raffle 200 purebred puppies in a customer promotion under pressure by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Comcel, the Colombian division of Slim's America Movil wireless carrier, will raffle debit cards instead for the promotion planned in Bogota, Bloomberg reports. Comcel had been the focus of a PETA campaign aimed at preventing puppies from being handed over to "unprepared guardians."

The promotion had sparked a controversy in Colombia ever since it was announced in late November. Users on Twitter raised protests and demanded that Comcel halt the raffle, although the company said that the puppies were coming from a top-notch shelter, Cachorros de San Luis, and that participants were free to turn down a puppy if they won one (link in Spanish).

"When people give animals as prizes, they usually don't realize that they might be contributing to the animal homelessness crisis by condoning the breeding of pedigree pups," PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo credit: Cachorros de San Luis, Colombia