As ever the puppy smugglers of the Irish Sea continue their shameless practice; two shipments of imported puppies were rescued from filthy crates this week at Holyhead Port in Wales.

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A mixture of breeds were found, from Beagles and Basset Hounds to Labradoodles, Yorkies and Pomeranians, representing tens of thousands of pounds worth of potential sales. The puppies were all too young to be away from their mothers – let alone journeying to a new country – at the ages of just six or seven weeks. They were being transported via the ferry in two different vans, and kept in cramped cages with no access to food or fresh water.

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In an attempt to hide their illegal living cargo, the smugglers had placed the puppy crates behind bales of sawdust. Thanks to the joint effort by multiple agencies, including the RSPCA and North Wales Police, the puppies were discovered and saved.

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Ian Briggs, of RSPCA’s special operations unit, said, “These poor puppies were being carted into Wales in deeply inappropriate conditions in the early hours of the morning.

“Sadly, to unscrupulous dealers, these young pups are nothing more than a cash bonanza – and dealers would have been targeting tens of thousands of pounds from these shipments.

“This is another shocking example of people being readily prepared to act illegally and compromise the welfare of defenceless animals to make a quick buck – but, fortunately, they were stopped in their tracks.”

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Following an initial veterinary check, the puppies were taken back to Ireland, and they are now under the care of the DSPCA. Barring two cases of parvovirus which are being monitored, the puppies are healthy and will soon be available for rehoming.

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All images courtesy of the RSPCA.

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