Find of 50 puppies linked with farms
It is believed about 50 puppies found in two cars in Dublin yesterday were being sent to the United Kingdom from Irish puppy farms.
According to the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the find was one of the biggest in recent years.
Some of the dogs were found suffering treatable conditions such as mange, ear mites, fleas, eye infections and parasitic infections. Many of the pups, found on the old Malahide Road in the Coolock area, had their tails docked and their dew claws - also referred to as dogs' thumbs - removed.
Since being rescued, some of the pups have been receiving treatment from the DSPCA for minor infections.
Several of the puppies are receiving special care as they were removed from their mothers at too young an age. None of the pups were microchipped, making it impossible to trace their original owners and breeders.
Two men were arrested at the scene and taken to Coolock Garda station.
Finds such as this are especially problematic at this time of year, said Gillian Bird, the DSPCA's head of education, media and public relations.
“We are not seeing huge amounts of it, but it is something that is always there, especially when it is coming up to Christmas and people want to give puppies as presents,” she said.
Ms Bird said the case is under investigation and the puppies, including a mixture of spaniels, labradors and Jack Russell terriers, will not be rehomed until the investigation is compete. The public will be notified when the dogs can be adopted, she said.
“When the dogs are ready to go to new homes, we will put it up on our website and our Facebook page, so please do not get in contact with us [at this time] looking to take any of the dogs home.”
If people are suspicious that there may be a puppy farm near them, they are encouraged to contact the DSPCA or their local SPCA, Ms Bird said.
“We would also say that you should not buy a dog just because you feel sorry for it or if it is not in a good condition. Take down all the details and where it is being sold and report it to us,” she said.
DSPCA chief executive Brian Gillen has asked people to be cautious of where they buy their dogs. “With so many online sources of pups these days the public need to be vigilant,” he 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 breeder's home – the conditions the mother is living in is a good indication of the health and welfare of the animals.”