Car boot puppies impounded in Scotland🚗


The ISPCA is looking for homes for twenty puppies that smugglers recently tried to take into Scotland. The tiny stowaways were discovered loose in the boot of a car at Cairnryan ferry port following as investigation by Operation Delphin by the Scottish SPCA, which aims to target this illegal trade. All of the puppies were deemed to be too young to travel, with some as young as four weeks old, away from their mothers far, far too early. None had the correct paperwork or were microchipped to an approved database.

A seized puppy, now named Darcey. Via ISPCA
A seized Cocker Spaniel puppy, now named Darcey. Via ISPCA

The puppies, all fashionable small breeds including Shih Tzus, Cocker Spaniels, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Bichon Frises, were swiftly taken back to Ireland, where they were transferred to the care of the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre in Longford. Some of the puppies are now having to be handfed by staff as they are so young.

ISPCA calls for a crackdown on illegal behaviour by puppy farmers after twenty puppies were seized at Cairnryan Ferry Port in Scotland and returned to Ireland The ISPCA is looking for homes for twenty tiny puppies that were seized from the boot of a car in Cairnryan ferry port in Scotland recently. The puppies were all too young to travel, were not accompanied by pet passports and although microchipped were not registered on an approved database as required under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations.  The puppies were seized by the Scottish SPCA as part of Operation Delphin* which is targeting the illegal trade in puppies from Ireland to the UK and were returned to Ireland where they originated from.  The rescued puppies, aged from 4 – 8 weeks old, including Shih Tzu’s, Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pugs and Cocker Spaniels were transported to the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre in Longford, where they received a full veterinary examination.  The Shih Tzu puppies were estimated to be between 4-6 weeks old, too young to be separated from their mother and had to be hand fed by ISPCA staff.  ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said:  “I would like to thank Police Scotland, Stenaline and Customs officials in Cairnryan and Belfast for their swift action in this case. This was a horrific way to transport these vulnerable puppies and the person they were seized from had no regard for their welfare.  We do not know exactly where these puppies originated from in Ireland but our investigations are continuing. The ISPCA believes it is time for a crackdown on illegal behaviour by dog breeders in Ireland and is calling on all local authorities to enforce the DBE legislation robustly and to take action where breeders fail to comply. Unfortunately we have seen a lack of consistency in the enforcement of the regulations. In one county a registered breeder licensed for 100 breeding females had over 500 dogs on site when inspected and in another county the ISPCA disc
Safe at last at the ISPCA’s Longford centre. Via ISPCA

All these puppies would have been purchased from large scale puppy farms in Ireland, with the hope of selling them on at a substantial margin to British families. Puppy farmers and dealers will always put profit first, compromising on welfare and circumventing legislation to keep the money coming in.

Ebba the Pug puppy is logged. Via ISPCA
Ebba the Pug puppy is logged. Via ISPCA

An undercover Inspector for the Scottish SPCA said, “Unfortunately the puppy trade is big business in Scotland, with thousands of dogs being brought into the country each year, from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in particular. We are working in partnership with a number of organisations and agencies including the ISPCA to execute Operation Delphin, an operation set up as part of the fight against those involved in this criminal activity.”

A bewildered Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, now called Mercedes. Via ISPCA
A bewildered Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, now called Mercedes. Via ISPCA

The Inspector continued, “In the case of the puppies being smuggled into Scotland in the boot of a car, we were able to get these poor animals signed over to the ISPCA who can now find them loving new homes. The Scottish SPCA will continue to act on information received to identify those operating in this cruel business and we have seized many dogs and reported a number of people to the Procurator Fiscal since Operation Delphin began. Anyone with concerns about the puppy trading industry in Scotland can call the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999. Information is received in strict confidence and can be left anonymously.”

This tiny Shih Tzu has been named Kyle. via ISPCA
This tiny Shih Tzu has been named Kyle. via ISPCA

All twenty pups will be looking for permanent loving homes shortly. For more information, please visit, email or call 043 33 25035.


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