Eight dogs worth €5,000 were seized by gardaí in Tipperary after a routine motorway traffic check.
The animals were seized when officers stopped a van on the Dublin-Cork motorway outside Thurles for suspected speeding and then heard loud barking from multiple animals coming from the rear of the vehicle.
Gardaí were amazed to then find eight dogs in the back of the van.
"Shortly before 8pm, gardaí from the Thurles Roads Policing Unit were carrying out a speed check on the M8 motorway at Ashill, Thurles, when they saw a van exceeding the speed limit," a Garda spokesperson said.
"The van was stopped and while speaking with the driver, gardaí heard dogs barking in the rear of the van."
Officers immediately became suspicious and decided to conduct a detailed inspection of the vehicle involved.
"Gardaí searched the van and found eight dogs that are believed to be worth in the region of €5,000."
The two people in the van could offer no detailed explanation to gardaí as to the ownership of the dogs or the reason for having to transport so many at once.
None of the animals were found to be micro-chipped.
All were of different breeds, including lurchers, beagles and a border terrier.
Gardaí were not happy with the explanations offered and decided to impound the dogs and they are being looked after at a local animal shelter.
Gardaí said they are keeping an open mind in respect of their investigation and no arrests have been made.
However, they are considering whether the animals were intended for the pet market or the hunting trade.