Young ‘designer’ dogs were among 59 puppies seized at Dublin Port this week.
The puppies were taken during two operations on Tuesday and Wednesday involving gardaí, Customs, and the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).
Most of the puppies were in pet carriers in the back of a van on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, five puppies in a pet carrier were found in the back of a horsebox which was also carrying horses.
The young dogs included cockapoos, puggles, labradoodles, and some beagles and cocker spaniels. Both shipments were seized under the Pet Passport Regulations of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.
There have been seven seizures of puppies in the last two months and brings to 150 the total number of animals forcibly removed by the authorities.
The latest seizures were carried out under Operation Seaport with gardaí from the Immigration Section of Store St, customs officers from Dublin Port, and the DSPCA.
The surge in seizures follows the launch, more than a year and a half ago, of Operation Delphin, a multi-agency initiative to end the illegal trade in puppies.
DSPCA spokeswoman Gillian Bird said efforts to prevent puppies from being smuggled out of Ireland would continue. “It is not just about stopping people with illegal puppies from leaving the port; it is also about where the animals are going to in the United Kingdom and the money involved. We are making a huge dent in the people who are exporting the puppies illegally because there is a huge profit to be made from the illegal trade.”
Ms Bird urged people wanting a puppy to stop and think, and to adopt, not buy if they really want a pet.
“Unless you know or have been recommended a breeder, you do not know where the puppy came from — it could well have been born in a dirty, horrible, shed in the middle of nowhere.”
Those interested in adopting the puppies are urged to visit the centre in Rathfarnham instead of calling it or sending emails so emergency calls are not disrupted.
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