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Circus caught painting dogs to pass them off as pandas

Environmental police in Italy seized two chow-chow dogs from a circus that had dyed the pooches' fur in hopes of passing them off as pandas, The Local reported.

According to the report, circus officials were charging children fees to have their pictures taken with two "pandas" who turned out to be canines painted in black and white.

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The owner, whose identity was withheld, is now facing animal cruelty charges and possible penalties for cheating customers, the report said.

The animals were imported from Hungary and were apparently six months younger than their passports stated.

The animals were in good health but had particularly watery eyes, "probably aggravated by the continuous exposure to camera flashes," the environmental police said in a statement, according to The Local.

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Click here to read the full report from The Local.