The ISPCA is calling for a crackdown on illegal dog breeding after twenty puppies were seized at Cairnryan Ferry Port.
20 puppies were seized from the wheelbase of a vehicle in Cairnryan ferryport a few weeks ago.
The puppies rescued ranged in breeds from Shih Tzu’s, Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles including Pugs and Cocker Spaniels.
One litter of Shih Tzu puppies were only four weeks old, too young to be separated from their mother and had to be syringe fed. Without the help of the ISPCA they would almost have certainly died.
The puppies were transported from Belfast ferryport to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford where they were examined by a vet and are all doing well.
The puppies appeared to be microchipped however when scanned, the details were not recorded on any approved microchipping database and investigations are continuing.
ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said:"This was a horrific way to transport these vulnerable puppies and the person they were seized from had no regard for their welfare.
"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 discovered an unregistered breeder and reported it to the council who simply invited them to register."
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."