Eight young puppies were taken into the care of the Dublin SPCA (DSPCA) after being discovered in the back of a van at the Dublin port, on Thursday 31 May. The driver of the van, a UK national, was attempting to board a ferry with them.

The pups, all Jack Russell/Chihuahua crosses, were estimated to be between six and seven weeks of age – too young to travel legally to the UK. None of the puppies was microchipped, and they all lacked the necessary vaccinations and passport. The driver of the van reportedly claimed to have recently purchased the puppies online.

The pups were found to be in poor condition, which improved overnight. They will be housed in the DSPCA’s Isolation facilities as they keep receiving veterinary care before being placed in foster homes and, eventually, rehomed.

“The DSPCA would once again remind those involved in trafficking puppies to the UK that they are required to comply with the Pet Passport regulations or run the risk that their animals will be seized at the Ports and they may be subject to prosecution,” a DSPCA statement reads.

“The DSPCA wish to thank the Customs officials at Dublin Port for their continued vigilance in interrupting this illegal trade.”

This is far from the first time puppies headed for the UK are seized at the Dublin port. Smuggling usually occurs inside of vans via ferry, but there has been a case when someone attempted to smuggle pups by posting them inside a sealed cardboard box.

Thousands of underage, puppy-farmed pups are illegally brought in the UK every year, to be sold on to unsuspecting members of the public through third-party puppy dealers. Dogs Today has been calling for a ban on third-party puppy sales through Lucy’s Law, which would deal a crippling blow to this cruel trade – both from abroad and within the UK’s borders.

The e-petition demanding the ban was debated on 21 May, and received remarkable support from MPs across all parties. You can sign the petition and watch the debate here.

Images by Dublin SPCA.

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