The puppies included Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers and Jack Russell Terriers. A number of the puppies were suffering treatable conditions like mange, ermites, fleas and eye infections. Many of the pups had had their tails docked and dew claws removed resulting in minor infections. A few of the puppies are receiving special care as they were too young to have been removed from their mother’s care.
The men involved were believed to have been trafficking the puppies from Ireland to the UK as part of a puppy smuggling scheme, where the dogs would be sold on the black market for several thousand euros.
Since July 1, dog breeders in Ireland with more than six breeding females are legally obligated to register with their local councils. This is to help facilitate stricter regulations now in place concerning animal welfare. However, none of the puppies rescued were micro-chipped and as a result, tracing the breeders involved is impossible.
The DSPCA is cautioning the public to take extra care when buying a puppy online or from roadsides. CEO Brian Gillen said, “Do not buy from the boot of a car or a van and always arrange to meet the puppy with its parents at the breeders home – the conditions the mother is living in is a good indication of the health and welfare of the animals.”
The DSPCA is also pleading with the public to report any concerns they have for animals they have visited with a view to buying. Head of Media and PR, Gillian Bird, said, “Many people ring us up to report cruelty to a puppy they have recently bought which may have died or be seriously ill. The usual comment is that they felt sorry for the animal and bought it to rescue it. For the welfare of the other animals it would be better to report the seller, their location or car registration number so a full investigation can be carried out.”
All of the puppies will eventually be found new homes. The dogs, which range in age from three to eight weeks, are now in secure accommodation at the DSPCA centre in Rathfarnham, Dublin.
The DSPCA has confirmed that none of the puppies are available for new homes until DSPCA inspectors have concluded their investigations.
“When the dogs are ready to go to new homes, we will put it up on our website and our Facebook page” said Ms Bird. The DSCPA’s website is at www.dspca.ie.